Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I don't post about job hunting all the time, but it's a constant activity. Postings for the kinds of positions I'm interested in have been scarce lately, but I did send out a batch of applications last week. It's amazing how few acknowledgements I've gotten for the number of positions I've applied for. With one exception, I've gotten at least a phone interview at every library I received acknowledgement letters or emails from. Some places don't even send rejection letters when the search concludes. It can be discouraging, for sure.

This stuff is on lots of our minds right now. Not 24 hours after I posted the article below, a former MLIS classmate of mine called me at work to ask how I landed an academic job so soon after we graduated and to get some advice on her own difficult search. I was sorry I had to tell her that my job is temporary and is over at the end of the month. Which is next week--yikes. We talked about how for the first six months or so after graduation, it was embarrassing to admit not having a job, but now we realize how common an experience it is.

Most of my friends from school have struggled and I only know of a few people who have secured permanent positions in the industry. These are smart, capable people who have solid library experience, but it just hasn't worked out for them yet. It took me five months to land a temporary job and I firmly believe that mine was a case of being in the right place at the right time. It's not news that the job market for librarians is rough here.There are many complicating factors besides low librarian job turnover. The cost of living is outrageous and commuting between several part-time gigs is hard to do in our traffic. I'm pretty committed to looking out of state; not everybody has the ability to move.

There are many variables in the job search. A library director I really admire recently offered me part-time, temporary work, but she needed somebody before my current full-time job ended. I would have loved to have worked for her and at her college, but it just didn't work out. Something will stick one of these days.

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