Along with “Tell us your strengths and weaknesses,” “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 (or 10 or 15) years?” has to be one of the most clichéd interview questions of all time. Yet the question does demand self-reflection and contemplation on one’s professional goals and desires. Interviews exist within a transitional space, a place in between, and they force us to think about our futures. Transitional spaces can be very hard places to negotiate – they make us feel vulnerable and unsure of ourselves. I wrote my book, Ace the Interview, Land a Librarian Job (Libraries Unlimited, 2016) to tell all librarians who are about to embark on the interview process – from recent MLIS grads to seasoned professionals – that interviewing doesn’t have to be scary. Interviewing well consists of a set of skills which can learned, refined, and perfected. Continue reading
By Raymond Pun
This year I was able to attend the SLA conference held in Boston, Massachusetts. It was an exciting opportunity because it was also my first time attending an SLA conference. In my library career, I’ve only attended ALA conferences and they were often overwhelming. In this reflection piece, I’ll share my thoughts about SLA and ALA and some of the highlights of SLA conference for me.
I was definitely looking forward to attending the SLA conference for a few reasons: Continue reading
In my short time as an information professional, conferences and other professional development events have played a major role in the evolution of my career. As a recent MLS graduate, SLA Annual 2013 in San Diego truly welcomed me to the profession. The experience gave me confidence and convinced me to remain active in SLA and become more involved in professional groups such as METRO and my college alumni association. SLA 2014 in Vancouver enhanced my earlier experiences by allowing me to integrate what I learned directly into my specific job responsibilities. SLA NY’s conference in 2014 and METRO’s this past January facilitated improvements in my social media efforts on the job and improved the visuals in my deliverables. I was introduced to people with similar niche interests, who I would later collaborate with for brainstorming, problem solving, and presentations.
This year I was unable to attend SLA in Boston, yet I was pleasantly surprised at the number of valuable takeaways that I benefitted from at a distance. Continue reading
In September 2014, I retired from a satisfying 36-year library career which began in January 1979. I felt truly fortunate to have been employed all those years in a series of five traditional information profession positions after I finished my MLS degree at the School of Library Service at Columbia University in December 1978. All of my jobs were with non-profit organizations. I spent the last 20 years at the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the grant-making institution of the financier and philanthropist George Soros. The Open Society Foundations was an amazing place to work in every respect, from the mission, ambiance, and quality of my co-workers, to employee benefits, opportunities for professional travel, and much more. Continue reading