Making social media work for you

You’re probably heard the advice to promote yourself on social media. That sounds an awful lot like work!

But what if I told you that getting ahead in your career could be a delightful side effect of having fun on social media?

I’ve had incredible conversations with people I’ve never met IRL. When you share your passions online, you’ll find a whole community of like-minded individuals – and one of them might just help you get ahead!

Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, says that Twitter is your friend, and shares a story of someone that landed a job through Tweets.

She suggests live tweeting events – which is FUN! – and also gives you visibility in connection with the event you’re Tweeting at. Be sure to use hashtags!

She also recommends not being shy – Twitter is wide open and you can talk to anyone!

US News has a piece on using social media to improve your career. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account – you should definitely create one. LinkedIn has some interesting special interest discussion forums and you can apply for jobs directly through the site. You can also research the next step for your career by looking at how others have progressed.

Their top advice is to be yourself – and to participate in discussions! It’s fun to debate issues with other people online.

This page has a lot of great resources for more in-depth information on how to use individual social media services to improve your online presence.

My advice? Get out there, conquer the learning curve of a new social media site, and remember to have FUN! Great things will follow.

The Impact of Academic Libraries, 2012

The National Center for Education Statistics just released a new report: Academic Libraries: 2012, First Look.

Academic library patrons
Academic library patrons


  • Academic libraries loaned some 10.5 million documents to other libraries in fiscal year 2012 (table 1). Academic libraries also borrowed approximately 9.8 million documents from other libraries and commercial services.
  • The majority of academic libraries, 2,417, were open between 60-99 hours during a typical week in the fall of 2012 (derived from table 2). Another 595 academic libraries were open 100 or more hours per typical week and only 67 were open less than 40 hours per typical week.
  • In fiscal year 2012, academic libraries conducted approximately 28.9 million information services to individuals (table 3).


  • At the end of fiscal year 2012; there were 847 academic libraries that held less than 10,000 books, serial backfiles, and other paper materials including government documents and 223 academic libraries that held 1 million or more (derived from table 4).
  • In fiscal year 2012, academic libraries added 52.7 million e-books, resulting in total e-books holdings of 252.6 million units (table 5).


  • Academic libraries reported 85,752 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff working in academic libraries during the fall of 2012 (table 6).
  • Academic libraries reported 30,819 other paid staff working during the fall of 2012 who accounted for about 36 percent of the total number paid staff in academic libraries (table 6).


  • Just over half of academic libraries, 2,023, had total expenditures of less than $500,000 in fiscal year 2012, while 1,104 academic libraries had total expenditures of $1,000,000 or higher (derived from table 7).
  • During fiscal year 2012, academic libraries spent about $3.4 billion on salaries and wages, representing 49 percent of total library expenditures (table 8).
  • Academic libraries spent a total of approximately $2.8 billion on information resources (table 9).
  • Of that, expenditures for electronic current serial subscriptions totaled about $1.4 billion.
  • During fiscal year 2012, academic libraries spent approximately $123.6 million for bibliographic utilities, networks, and consortia (table 10).

Electronic Services

  • In fiscal year 2012, approximately 77 percent of academic libraries reported providing library reference service by e-mail or the Web (table 11).
  • Less than half (43 percent) of academic libraries reported library staff digitizing documents in the fiscal year 2012 (table 11).

Information Literacy

  • Nearly three-quarters of academic libraries (71 percent) reported their institution has articulated student learning or student success outcomes in fiscal year 2012 (table 12).
  • During fiscal year 2012, about 55 percent of academic libraries reported that they incorporated information literacy into student learning or student success outcomes (table 12).

Virtual Reference

  • During fiscal year 2012, about three-quarters (75 percent) of academic libraries reported that they supported virtual reference services (table 13).
  • Almost one quarter (24 percent) of academic libraries reported that they utilized short message service or text messaging in fiscal year (table 13).

See the rest of the full report, including tables, here.

Mastering the Curriculum Vitae

How well-written is your Curriculum Vitae? Does it make prospective employers swoon? Or cringe?

Don’t be the guy in this stock image. You can do this!

There are two parts to any professional job application: the cover letter and the resume/curriculum vitae (CV). In academic library-land, the CV is the preferred format (and can be a LOT lengthier than a resume). If you’re looking for an academic job in this market, you’ve got to be sure that your CV reflects your true awesomeness!

If you’re starting from scratch, organize your employment history as well as educational, committee, and volunteer history as well as other personal information before you begin. You’ll save yourself a headache later!

The CV is different from a resume – the Purdue OWL explains the basics.

Here’s a list from Dartmouth Graduate Studies on what to include:

  • Applicant Information (Name and contact info)
  • Education
  • Awards/Honors
  • Grants/Fellowships
  • Research Experience
  • Teaching Experience
  • Publications and Presentations
  • Related Professional Experience
  • Languages
  • Other — Memberships, Associations, Conferences
  • References

Standard resume advice is not to exceed two pages, but it’s very common for CVs to be three or more pages depending on experience.

If you have an existing resume/CV, here’s 6 Small Changes you should make (from AskAManager). Objectives are outdated and a NO-NO. Also, don’t just list your duties from each position you’ve held. Stand out from the crowd by listing what you accomplished at each position.

If you’re stuck, look at other job seekers’ CVs. One of my favorite things to do is Google the CVs of librarians with the sort of job that I want. For instance, I’d love to be an instructional librarian, and I can see what experience real-life instructional librarians have and how they structure their CVs.

Remember that for each application you need to craft a custom cover letter that, along with your CV, addresses each point in the job posting and how your experience meets it. Search committees will be scoring your application based on the job posting. Make their job easy! Here’s a fun post from The Chronicle on What Search Committees Wish You Knew.

Cover letters are a post for another day. Is there advice you would give to someone crafting/perfecting their CV?

Dressing up, library style!

How dapper are you and your colleagues?

Does your wardrobe cause you to pose spontaneously in the stacks?

Do you want to step up your wardrobe? They say 90% of success is just dressing the part.* Here are some resources to help you on your sartorial journey:

Librarian Wardrobe: “Not always buns & sensible shoes!” This website showcases real-life fashionable library-types, male and female!

Extra Petite: This woman is SO fashionable. She’s also very petite! On this site, she shares her secrets on “fashion that fits!”

For a more business-like vibe, check out Corporette. She offers tons of advice to businesswomen on what to wear, and where to find it.

In a perfect world, what you wear shouldn’t matter. In the real world, dressing well can help you advance your career. Here’s a thoughtful post on the subject at Letters to a Young Librarian.

The Hiring Librarians blog has an interview with a hiring manager on what prospective librarians should wear to an interivew.

AND here’s an entire blog devoted to what to wear to library job interviews: Librarian Hire Fashion.

*Made-up statistic.

What about you? What’s your workplace fashion philosophy?

Procrastinating and Productivity: Start your semester right!

It’s Spring! (Semester, anyways). Classes are starting today at ASU and NAU! They start Wednesday at UA. How about your campus? I know I’m excited to have students on campus again! But this is also an important moment to take stock of what you’ve accomplished this academic year – because it’s now half-over!

If you’ve got projects you’ve been sandbagging, here’s a book for you: Still Procrastinating? The no-regrets guide to getting it done (links to book review). I love that this book identifies the various types of procrastinators: thrill-seekers, indecisives, self-saboteurs, perfectionists…which kind are you?

Here’s a lot of productivity tips from the Unclutterer blog: how to keep your New Year’s resolutions, how to unclutter your to-do lists, and how to stay on top of everything! I know my to-do list just keeps getting longer.

If you’re thinking about revamping your infolit teaching, here’s a great review of the latest Project Information Literacy report, titled “Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Research Once They’ve Entered College.”  TL;DR: They’re overwhelmed with information, so keep it simple!

Hit the Links: New Year New You and My Favorite Things

2014 happens Wednesday. Are you ready? I think I’ve accomplished a lot this year – and hope to do more next year. Here’s some links to get us all started:

Use the library to help fulfill those New Year’s resolutions. What skills have you been meaning to learn?

Hack Library School has A Library Student’s New Year’s Resolution List. What else would you add to her list?

Here’s 8 New Year’s Resolutions for Librarians. These are more for public/small libraries, but we could probably all improve our marketing.

LibrarianShipwreck has a lengthy post on What Will 2014 Bring for Libraries? 

And here are some of My Favorite Things that may also help with your resolutions:

Tackle your workplace and job issues by reading Alison Green’s Ask A Manager. This is my favorite blog, hands-down. Alison has practical, real-world advice.

Do you wish you were a better speaker/presenter? You should check out Toastmasters. I’m an officer at Twilite Toastmasters in Tempe and love it. Toastmasters are friendly, club meetings are fun, and I love improving my speaking skills and helping others improve. Find a club and drop in anytime, they’re everywhere.

What are your resolutions in 2014?

I resolve to watch less Netflix. Just kidding! I’m a homebody and Netflix is my bestie. But I do resolve to continue to improve my speaking skills and to finish my second masters: an M.Ed in Instructional Design.

Hit the Links: Of Open Offices, Millennials, and Language

It’s the holidays. Who’s got time to write thoughtful blog posts? Here’s other stuff to read instead:

What is the Digital Public Library of America? Hint: they’re not a preservation service.

When headphones just won’t cut it: Here’s How to Survive in an Open Office Plan.

Let’s cut back on the millennial criticism. Here’s Why Time’s Millennials cover story says more about Joel Stein than it does about Millennials.

The way we talk is evolving. We’re all using language differently now, because internet culture.

The Colorado Library Consortium knows how to write a clever job ad. Hope the work culture is half as fun as the job description.

The life of an adjunct is rough. Here’s why adjunct professors don’t just find other jobs.