The absence of a post on this blog for three weeks is something I’m not proud of, but life has a funny way of throwing wrenches in your plans (and your back up plans!). Part of my struggle to write posts recently has been the fact that this is the post I’ve been wanting to write for over a month but was not able to until now. The other part of my struggle is the crazy schedule I’ve been keeping due to the fact that I’ve been in the process of job hunting. I’m happy to finally report that I’ve been hired as a Regional Campus Librarian for the University of Central Florida’s Valencia College Osceola Campus!
I began seriously job hunting in late Fall of last year. My goal when I started at Cleveland Community College was to do as much as possible, learn as much as possible, and meet as many librarians as possible in the hopes of moving to a University after two years. I began my initial job board monitoring in November because I knew that some Universities have extended hiring processes. The sources I used were INALJ, ALA’s Joblist, several state library websites, and a HootSuite Twitter feed for the #libraryjobs hash tag. My initial job hunt was scattered, so this time I kept a spreadsheet with columns for position, institution, location, apply by date and a URL for the job ad.
I completely redesigned my resume. To do this I checked out examples of resumes/CVs for librarians I respected that had them posted on their websites. I also made a giant list of all the things I do in my current job, both daily tasks like circ/reference shifts and long term projects I’d completed or was working on. That helped me to group my experience into categories of skills that I could use for my resume. I re-drafted my standard cover letter. I used the same style I had in the past, but obviously had a lot of new content. The list I made of everything I do was enormously helpful when drafting cover letters.
I didn’t keep track of how many positions I applied for on this search. I’d say between 10 and 15. Of those, I received a request for a phone interview from 7 institutions and have received 3 or 4 rejections. I feel pretty awesome about the response I got and the hard work I put in on the application process. During this time I attended the American Libraries Live “Landing Your Ideal Library Job” webcast, and picked up some amazing tips for interviewing. My in person interview for UCF was a whole day of presenting and interviews with varying groups/individuals. I put a lot of work into my presentation for the interview and I was rewarded with the job offer!
The gist of the job is as follows (taken directly from the ad!): “The University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries is accepting applications for a full-time librarian to serve in a joint-use library at the Valencia College Osceola Campus. Regional Campus librarians participate in service delivery with college librarians in a shared facility and report to the UCF Head of Regional Campus Libraries. Primary responsibilities include participation in all modes of reference, library instruction, outreach and collection development duties in a partnership environment.” I am super excited to be working with a wider range of students, from first years and community college all the way through graduate students. My first day at UCF will be May 10th, and my last day here at Cleveland will be next Friday April 19th.
I’ve been spending my time at work trying to tie up loose ends, teach people how to do the things I do, transfer contact information for companies/services we use, cram in instruction sessions, and resign from the various committees I’m involved in. I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I was given during my time at Cleveland to try new things, be involved with all aspects of academic library service, and take advantage of professional development opportunities. If there’s anyone reading interested in my job, here’s the ad: http://clevelandcc.edu/uploads/HR/Librarian%20Instruction-Reference%20-%202013%204-4.pdf
This process has been one of the most stressful and edifying experiences I’ve had. Juggling multiple opportunities/interview processes during a busy Spring semester is not something I’d like to repeat any time soon. That being said, I have heard so many nice things about my work here at Cleveland and in the library community from my references, from other librarians I’ve discussed this with, and from the faculty/staff at Cleveland. It feels good to know that other people find value in what I do, and it helps me be more sure than ever that librarianship is the right fit for me. I feel so blessed that my search was successful, and that I was offered an opportunity that is more than I was hoping for. I’d still like to post one more blog entry before I leave, but I expect another hiatus as I move even further south and start on the next chapter in my career.