Researchers’ Corners: A Guide for the Evidence-Based Job Hunter

Lisa C. Chen:

Hiring Librarians has provided a list of publications that are related to the expectations of employers. I will definitely read this when I have the time and learn about the qualifications I need.

Originally posted on Hiring Librarians:

I’m so grateful to the authors on this list, who took the time to work with me to create a post that shared their recent research into LIS careers and hiring.  This list is in order of appearance on Hiring Librarians, from first to most recent.  Click on the underlined heading to go to the Hiring Librarians guest post, an informal summary of the research.  The citation will lead you to a more formal account.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Interview Success

Meghan Hodge and Nicole Spoor surveyed 430 people who hire librarians in order to discover the qualities and characteristics of a successful interview.  In this guest post, they summarize research that appears more formally in:

Hodge, Megan and Nicole Spoor, (2012) Congratulations! You’ve landed an interview: What do hiring committees really want?, New Library World, Vol. 113 Iss: 3/4, pp.139 – 161, 10.1108/03074801211218534

The New Archivist’s Job Search


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Paying Fines can be Fun

Hack Library School posted an interesting bit about a public library letting patrons pay off their fines by donating pet supplies to them, which would then be given to a local animal shelter. I was fascinated by such a creative take on a standard practice. I’m sure we’ve all dreaded paying our library fines. I have seen some patrons charged hundreds of dollars. I personally find late fees necessary, as we need patrons to return items.

I did a little more research to find other unconventional ways to pay off library fines and found that the Guthrie Public Library has a program between February and March where 15 minutes of exercise at a centre will remove $1 from your account.

Of course, these are programs that can only be implemented at a public library, but this is a way to generate enthusiasm towards paying fines and supporting a good cause.

Volunteering at WILU 2014

Western, from May 21-23, hosted the annual Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU).

I volunteered on the 21st and 22nd. I was a runner and directed people to certain rooms where workshops were hosted. I can’t emphasize how easy and repetitive it was and I encourage all library students to volunteer at future WILU conferences. I simply greeted and pointed people to specific rooms.

Here are the perks of volunteering:

  • It’s an opportunity to meet your colleagues in the program and ask them about their experiences and recommendations for courses. I was paired up with a recent MLIS graduate and she had great advice for which courses to enroll into and how to prepare for co-op applications. You will also work with other librarians. My experience in the  field is that many are eager to know about your progress and provide you with advice.
  • Volunteering was a short commitment; my two shifts totaled 6 hours.
  • You can attend some of the talks. Though I did not take advantage of it because of my schedule, it would have been great to attend.
  • You will get swag. Lots of it.

Not featured: The food I consumed.

Here are some tips for future volunteers:

  • Bring a phone/watch with you. It’s important to keep track of time if assigned with short shifts.
  • Know your surroundings. You may be placed on an unfamiliar part of campus. Make sure to know what’s immediately around you, such as the closest restroom, as you will definitely be asked that.
  • Keep a copy of the programme. The pamphlet will provide important information that you will need, such as the location of workshops and when they take place.

To get involved, just wait for an email calling for volunteers and respond.

Book Printing at the TPL

The Toronto Public Library is offering a new book printing service!


I will always be a writer first and an information professional second, so it’s exciting to know that as a Torontonian, if I decide to self-publish, I can print it at the library.

This is a great opportunity to have a book printed at a reasonable cost. Books can be between 40-800 pages and it can be anything from a cookbook to a dissertation.

I can see the makerspace/DIY trend going strong in the TPL, as they continue to offer other opportunities such as training you to use a 3-D printer among other things. Though I will not be entering public librarianship, I admire the initiatives by its staff and will definitely take advantage of what they offer.

John & Dotsa Bitove Law Library

I went on a tour of the law library at Western University. Below are some of the pictures I took recently.

The first photo shows the stairs you climb to get into the library. When you enter, you are on the top floor. The first thing you notice is the stained glass window on the other side of the room.

On the second and third floor, I found some surprising features. The stacks have numbers for the rows, making it easier for patrons to locate items other than using a call number. Perhaps other libraries should adopt this. It is also the only library I know that has gaps in its floors (see the fourth image, where you can see the stacks downstairs).

The third floor had compact shelves which were automated. I had only ever seen manual ones before.

John Sadler, the director, led the tour and also gave us insight on the future of the library. The Bitove Law Library was moving much of its print materials offsite and digitizing it. The library posted a job ad all about moving and rearranging materials. They are planning on using the new space for patrons.

Sadler also told us about some amazing law resources: Real Property Reports (RPR) and Dominion Law Reports (DLR), which essentially highlight and summarize cases and decisions made by the courts. These are generally a part of the reference collection.