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How to Stay Afloat in the Academic Library Job Pool Paperback – January 15, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0838910801 ISBN-10: 0838910807
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Teresa Y. Neely is director of access services, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Most recently she was head of reference at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and an adjunct professor at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park. She received her MLS and PhD degrees (LIS) from the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Amer Library Assn Editions (January 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0838910807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0838910801
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,180,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Cole on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to dislike this book because of its size (it's thin!) and price, but I found it fairly useful.

Each chapter discusses various aspects of the academic library job search process, from reading a job ad to negotiating a job offer. The chapters are approximately ten to fifteen pages long, and at least one or two of those pages is a list of references or additional resources. Each chapter is written by a librarian at the University of New Mexico. This can be good and bad. On the positive side, each of the authors obviously is qualified to write about the job search process because they have served on one or more search committees. On the negative side, because all of the authors are from the same institution, the book relies heavily on the University of New Mexico library system for examples. I would have liked a little more diversity here.

The book provides a lot of advice on what to do (or not do) as a new librarian progresses through the job search process. Some of the advice is obvious ("Proofread your cover letter.") Other tips are much more useful, such as creating a chart for each job description. More seasoned librarians or graduates who have been on a lot of interviews may find these tips very obvious.

The highlights of the book are the chapters on compiling an application packet and giving a phone interview. Other chapters were lacking. Considering that the cover letter may be the most important document in the application packet, I felt this section was lacking. Examples of cover letters and CVs also would have been a welcome addition. I also was disappointed that the book did not address e-mailing vs. snail mail for application packets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Schmuland on November 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
I read this a few years back while doing some research on job-hunting guides for the library world. There's some good basic stuff here but make sure this isn't the only source you read on the topic. I can't really recommend it for individual purchase (sorry ALA) but it's easily accessible via interlibrary loan. I have three basic problems with it:

1. The price: I find this terribly expensive for the length and depth of the content. Perhaps ALA's assumption was libraries would be buying it instead of individuals, but one would hope that ALA would be aware that price-gauging libraries isn't very nice, either.

2. The lack of diversity and experience in the authors: all from one institution and some with what I'd consider relatively limited experience as recruiters. Yes, even one time on a search committee can be very enlightening, but given the size of the librarian population in the US, I'd have wished that they could have put together a co-author list that consisted of individuals who have served on or chaired many--if not dozens of--search committees (they exist! I've met them) and from many academic institutions. Some point/counterpoint from different sized university libraries, public vs private, geographically dispersed, etc, would have been very welcome. Some of the processes described in this volume were not reflective of hiring practices broadly.

3. What I can only call the mean-spirited nature of some of the chapter titles. I know the authors were trying to be funny and lighten up the topic a little, but for me it just went too far. Job-seeking is soul-sucking enough without having employed people mocking applicants.
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