Making the Most of Your Library Career

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

An MLIS can provide the skill set needed to get a library job, but building a library career means knowing how to maximize your potential every step of the way. Benefiting those fresh out of library school as well as experienced professionals, career librarians from every corner of the profession offer a personal, down-to-earth view of "what it's really like out there." Filled with valuable insights into how to better launch and manage a library career, this book addresses important topics like

  • How to work and adapt at a new organization
  • What management expects and how to view everyday activities from that point of view
  • How to make suggestions for change
  • Advice on navigating the cyclical nature of a librarian's work year
  • The rewards and challenges of professional organizations
  • Why a library degree is valuable outside a traditional library setting

Those new to the field will find the contributors' seasoned advice both inspiring and practical, while veterans of the profession will find guidance on retuning their careers in librarianship's changing environment.

Preface by Lois Stickell and Bridgette Sanders
1. First Impressions 
Melinda Livas 
2. The View from the Top 
Theodosia Shields and Annie Payton 
3. The Accidental Librarian 
Tamara Acevedo 
4. We've Always Done It This Way 
Katherine Farmer 
5. Professional Associations and You 
Lynda Kellam 
6. Life Cycle of a Librarian's Year 
Jenny Dale 
7. Assessing the Job 
Greta Wood 
8. Developing a Plan B 
Beth Martin 
9. How Not to Be One of the Penguins 
Phil Blank 
10. What If the Job Doesn't Work Out? 
Kelly Evans 
Afterword by Lois Stickell and Bridgette Sanders


Lois Stickell

Lois Stickell is the History and Government Documents Librarian at J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her MLS from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She has written about a slave revolt in South Carolina, and she and Bridgette Sanders received a grant to research student activism in the 1960s. She contributed a chapter about grants to The Frugal Librarian: Thriving in Tough Economic Times, edited by Carol Smallwood.

Bridgette Sanders

Bridgette Sanders is the Social Sciences Librarian at J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. She received her MLS from Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her areas of interest are Africana Studies and Diversity. She and Lois Stickell have presented at several conferences, including the Southern Historical Association's annual conference and ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History).

"The essays cover a variety of topics—from learning what to expect in interviews to getting a glimpse of what various positions could entail. Sidebars highlighting helpful tips and advice are presented throughout the text. The stories presented provide a realistic view for the reader, discussing how to overcome mistakes and how to discover the right career path through critical assessment. This is a useful resource for library-school students and those new to working within the library field."
— Booklist

"This guide covers everything from first impressions and interviews to working effectively with stubborn people and knowing when to leave a job … From the ‘accidental librarian' to the newbie, to the seasoned veteran, all will find something that speaks to them in this title."

"Chock full of useful career tips and tales from librarians in the field that will help both new and veteran librarians develop their careers … I certainly wish I had had this book to guide me through my early days as a librarian."
— Technical Services Quarterly

"A useful guide to solving some of the mysteries of how the library world actually works. This book is recommended for library students, new library professionals, and librarians looking for a boost of career motivation."
— Catholic Library World