or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk




Work at my Library: Hiring a Head of Circulation

   July 13th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Chelmsford Library logoThe Head of Circulation at my library is retiring, so maybe you should apply. The details are below and on the Massachusetts library jobs board, but what they don't tell you is that every other week the circ desk has "treat Tuesdays" - very tasty.

Institution: Chelmsford Public Library

Job: Head of Circulation Services – Dept. Head level

Duties/Description:
This full time, 37 1/2 hour per week position is for a versatile, friendly librarian skilled in customer service, reader's advisory and personnel management. Must also have strong technology skills. Schedule includes one night and every other weekend. Job responsibilities include the following: Hiring, training and supervision of approximately 30 part-time library assistants, pages and volunteers. Directing, supervising, scheduling, and participating in tasks at the circulation desk. Explaining library lending policies and procedures.

Qualifications:
MLS required, related Bachelor's degree preferred; experience working with the public required. Should have working knowledge of current fiction and popular culture. Candidate must be open to change and trying new ideas. Must be comfortable managing conflict. Candidate should enjoy interacting with public of all ages and must be able to adapt smoothly to patron demands. Experience working with an ILS critical, interest/experience with open source ILS management desirable

Salary:
Starting salary will depend upon education and experience. Range is: $41,243 to $65,598.

Closing Date:
Applications in by July 16th get first consideration, open until filled.

Send:
Applications should be e-mailed to bherrmann@mvlc Applications may also be submitted to Becky Herrmann, Library Director, Chelmsford Public Library, 25 Boston Road, Chelmsford MA 01824.
The Chelmsford Federation of Teachers, Local 3669, represents this position. The Town of Chelmsford is EEO/AA Employer



Tags: , , , , , , ,



Library Tech Job News

   January 21st, 2010 Brian Herzog

Help WantedTwo pieces of library technology job news I've been meaning to mention:

Kathy Lussier Named MassLNC Project Coordinator
First, congratulations to Kathy Lussier, who was recently chosen to be Project Coordinator for the Massachusetts Open Source Project. She will begin February 1st, and I really can't think of someone who would do a better job. Congratulations again, and I'm looking forward to Kathy moving everything forward.

Technology Librarian position available with GMLICS
Second, there is a great technology position open at GMLICS, a library consortium in southern New Hampshire. The basics details are:

  • The Technology Librarian will deliver hardware and software support for the central computer system and telecommunications network, maintain the consortium’s web pages and work with librarians in the member libraries to insure a well-functioning shared system. Weekly driving to member libraries. Strong customer service attitude, excellent communications skills and the ability to juggle multiple tasks with changing priorities are required. Experience working in a consortium is desired.
  • This position offers opportunities for learning and professional development.
  • Salary $45,000+ and a generous benefit package.
  • MLS from ALA accredited institution preferred. Will consider a candidate with equivalent training and experience.
  • Applications will be accepted until January 29, 2010.

See their website for more details and a full position description [pdf].



Tags: , , , , , , , ,



Reference Question of the Week – 10/19/08

   October 25th, 2008 Brian Herzog

Jobs listings on Craigslist websiteBefore I get into this week's reference question, I want to point out that this is my 100th Reference Question of the Week - that's almost two years of weekly reference questions. My, my, doesn't the time just fly when you are giving patrons directions to the bathrooms?

In honor of such a momentous event, I thought I'd share one of the reference questions I just dread. I get variants of this question occasionally, but last week all the components came together in a perfect storm of reference question difficulty:

Patron: I've never used a computer before, so can you help me find a job on craigslist?

Sigh. For non-reference librarians, here's why this simple request is especially hard:

  1. Almost any kind of job-related request can be difficult
  2. Most of the job resources available in the library are online, so having no computer experience is automatically a setback
  3. Craigslist? It is certainly a valid job search tool, but there are other places I'd be more comfortable starting off a computer novice (she never did tell me how she got referred to craigslist)

Lots of people would jump on a question like this and consider it a golden teaching moment. Which I tried to do, but I was alone on a busy Thursday morning and I didn't have the amount of uninterrupted time it would take to teach the patron to use a mouse and then educate her enough about the internet and craigslist to find a job safely.

But happily, she was a fast learner, and really took to the mouse and using the browser. Since she asked for craigslists, I showed her how to get there and use it, and while doing so also told her about other job search websites she could try. We also have a handout for career resources, and pretty soon she sent me away so she could look on her own.

She left before I could talk to her again, but she stayed at least forty-five minutes on the computer. Which is not bad for a first timer. Even if nothing from her first search pans out, I hope at least she knows the library is a resource for job searching.

More About Online Job Searching
Something I've been noticing for awhile is that it seems that online job applications are becoming more and more complex. Lots of large companies are requiring applicants to fill out an online application instead of providing a resume.

The problem with this is, from my and the patron's point of view, many patrons have trouble with the website or application form itself. Some get so frustrated that they quit halfway through, cursing the company for not just taking their resume. I wonder if companies are doing this intentionally, because filling out these applications requires a certain level of computer skills, and so it weed out anyone who isn't computer savvy enough to finish it.

I've helped a few people complete what even I thought was a difficult form, and I wonder if I'm really helping them or not. If the job really does require that level of computer skill, and I spend a half an hour basically filling out the form for them, are they just wasting their time on a job they don't have a hope of getting?

Because of this need (and especially in the current economic climate), my library lately has been partnering with the local career center to hold series of job search workshops. These range from updating resumes to online searching to interviewing to networking to reentering the work force. They've been well attended, and all the library has had to do is provide the space - people from the Lowell Career Center plan and run the programs.

I feel like we can never do enough for patrons looking for jobs, but that this is one of the key roles a library plays in the community.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Guide to Hiring Women

   May 29th, 2008 Brian Herzog

1943 Guide to Hiring WomenSince I mentioned recently that it's staff review time in my library, I thought it'd also be appropriate (although I use that term loosely) to post this 1943 Guide to Hiring Women. Originally published in "Transportation Magazine," I found it over on the studio twentysix2 blog, and I agree with Tom's commentary.

As a male in a traditionally female-dominated field, of course I found this interesting. I work for and with women, and have women who report to me, and I'm happy to report that this is not at all applicable to 2008. All of my colleagues, professional and paraprofessional, have their jobs because they are good at their jobs - not just because they fit the uniforms we had on hand.

Times change. That's a good thing.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Now Hiring

   November 15th, 2007 Brian Herzog

MVLC logoMy consortium has a very important opening right now, and I'm hoping that by getting the word out as much as possible, a great candidate will be found.

The job title is "Assistant Director for User Services," and there is a full description at the MBLC's job bank.

I see this position as so important because this is the person that coordinates services and training between the 35 member libraries of the consortium, as well as the person who facilitates the flow of information between the have-libraries and the have-not-libraries.

With the right person in this position, all of the libraries can work together more closely to serve our collective patron base. A group this large and diverse has huge potential to work together and offer our patrons a tremendous amount of materials and services, as well as work together to help each other move forward and adapt as the tools of our profession and the needs of our patrons evolve.

Plus, you'd get to talk to me sometimes. Luckily, the pay is pretty good, and the benefits are almost embarrassingly good, so that more than makes up for all of the requests and work I'll be sending your way.

Please apply. Thanks.

job, job posting, job postings, jobs, libraries, library, mvlc, public libraries, public library, user services



Tags: , , , , , , , , ,