Credentials & Academic Librarian Positions

Hi, everyone–

Hey, look, it’s a library posting that has absolutely nothing to do with covid-19! That’s a novelty today. 🙂

While you’re home working or studying, this could be a great time to step back and think about your professional goals for the future. And on that note, I wanted to share a post that I wrote for ACRLog. It follows up on a number of questions that listeners shared during my Nov. 12, 2019 ACRL webinar. The post discusses credentials for academic librarians: what’s expected and how to show the credentials that you have in the very best light. The full post is here:

Please share your thoughts: I’d be happy to talk about additional questions that you have. Best of luck to you!

Big Transitions: Changing Jobs within and between Libraries

Hi, friends–

Happy new year!

Don’t let that title start any rumors — I’m not headed anywhere new at the moment. But I have finished my first blog posting in response to audience feedback at November’s webcast. I put together a posting responding to a range of questions that participants shared regarding how to move between types of libraries, or how to move between departments in academic libraries. ACRL kindly offered to post it to their blog, ACRLog.

Check it out, and please feel free to share your feedback and experiences:

Resources: Academic Library Job Interviews & Salary Negotiation

Hi, everyone–

As promised, I’m following up on the “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions” webcast with some resources. Here are some recent favorites on (a)* interviewing for academic librarian positions and (b) salary negotiation in academic libraries.

Resources on Interviewing

  • Academic LIS Job Seeking — extensive notes from a presentation that Bronwen K. Maxson gave at the Pratt Institute last month. (Check out the list of additional resources at the end, too.) She notes that much of her advice is adapted from Teresa Y. Neely’s How to Stay Afloat in the Academic Job Market.
  • Library and Technology Jobs: Library Interview Questions — by Leila Gibradze of Florida State University. This guide hits all of the standard questions. It also links to additional resources on the academic library job search process.

  • The Academic Interview Process — by Nanako Kodaira for the ALA New Members’ Round Table. An overview of everything that happens at a standard academic librarian job interview. Includes sample interview questions.
  • Library Interview Questions — Mr. Library Dude, who has one of the best pen names in the business, links to numerous pages with a range of interview questions. Includes the standards as well as special topics and concerns.

Resources on Salary Negotiation

Please share additional resources by adding a comment or contacting me.

*Just how long will it take me to stop adding APA-formatted lists to everything I write without even thinking about it? Silly dissertation. 🙂

Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions (slides included!)

Hello, everyone–

Thanks to all of you who attended the ACRL Membership Committee webcast that I presented this afternoon, “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions.” If you’re interested, please feel free to download the presentation slides. makingyourselfmarketable

You’re also welcome to download the full text of the original book chapter, “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions.” Thanks again, ACRL, for that Creative Commons license.

Our hosts at ACRL tell me that about 175 people participated in the webcast. Even better, they tell me that many participants were pointing each other toward solutions, options, and resources. (I have yet to see the full transcript from the “chat box” — I had minimized it during the presentation & am waiting for ACRL to download it for me. Once I have it, I will go through the transcript line by line as promised.)

We talked through some challenging issues during the webcast! I’m glad to hear that a number of you gathered useful advice from it. I also gathered that plenty of participants were feeling frustrated with the job search — and understandably so!

Here’s a plan for what I’m going to work on in terms of further information:

  • Tomorrow, I’ll start by sharing selected resources on interviewing and salary negotiation.

After that, I’ll begin responding to themes among the questions & comments. Some that our ACRL colleagues Rachel and Ed noted from the chat box were:

  • Building relationships with your professors and classmates when you’re in an online MLS program
  • Planning your work experiences when you’re in an online MLS program
  • Moving from public to academic libraries
  • Starting out as an information literacy instructor if you haven’t had experience teaching in an academic library
  • Using online teaching materials that you’ve created to highlight your teaching skills & potential
  • Planning your transition from paraprofessional to librarian positions in academic libraries

Lots to work with! Please feel free to continue to get in touch with thoughts and questions. Thanks to everyone who tuned in. Come on back to this site throughout the week to keep joining in the conversation.

As always, I wish you the best in your job search!

I’m giving a webinar for ACRL: “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Library Positions”

Hi, librarian & MLS student friends–

On November 12th, I’ll be giving a (free!) webinar for ACRL, titled “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Library Positions.” It’s based on the chapter of the same title, which I wrote for Megan Hodge’s The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit.

MLS students are the target audience. And I’d love to have any interested academic librarians there as well. Here’s more information from ACRL:

Meeting Title: ACRL Membership Committee: Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Library Positions
Date: November 12, 2019
Time: 1:00-2:00PM PM Central Time
Register in advance for this meeting:…/regi…/WN_duXkaOUMR_68S43CXWpVgQ

“When you’re working on your MLS degree, you have countless opportunities for courses and internships. Which ones increase your future marketability the most? How can you communicate the experience that you’ve gained through courses and work in order to give yourself the most options possible? Topics covered in this session include selecting educational and work opportunities, building professional relationships, communicating your experience and strengths, and beginning to build a scholarly record. The session emphasizes practical steps that you can take throughout your career as an MLS candidate. It also offers honest commentary on what to do if the job search isn’t going as planned, as well as advice on making the most of your first few months of employment once you do become an academic librarian. This presentation is adapted from the author’s chapter of the same title in The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit, edited by Megan Hodge.”

Thanks for considering! – Karen


Fresh Career Advice: The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit


A few years ago, librarian Megan Hodge (Virginia Commonwealth University) announced a project that I truly believe in. Her project has now come to fruition: The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit was published by the American Library Association earlier this month. I’m honored to have written a chapter titled “Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions,” which you can read via my institution’s repository (thanks, ALA, for making the book Creative Commons-friendly).

I love the depth and honesty of the discussion. How do I plan my search? What do I do if it isn’t going well? Are there interesting career paths that I may not have heard about? (The answer is “yes.”) Highly recommended for institutions and libraries that teach and employ LIS students.