Toolkit for Campus Presentations
- To recruit undergraduate and graduate students who have an aptitude for and interest in academic librarianship.
- To promote the profession as an attractive career outside the classroom.
- To impress upon graduate students the value of their subject knowledge and research and foreign language skills to the field of academic librarianship.
- Undergraduate students
- Graduate students: M.A.s and Ph.D.s
- Career development office
- Contact dean of graduate school and head or director of graduate career services and pitch the idea of careers outside the classroom in academic libraries for M.A.s and Ph.D.s--get them to help fund workshop, internships, etc., in concert with the library.
- Advertise presentation in school paper and distribute widely to relevant academic departments.
- Include a wide range of speakers: not just librarians, but curators; heads of editorial projects within libraries; and faculty who have served on hiring committees for key librarian positions.
- Hold the presentation at the library.
- Contact career center, offer to do presentation at the center or at career fairs they sponsor.
Key messages and talking points:
- Useful for presenters to introduce themselves, including what degrees they have, what they do in the library, and how they came to the profession.
- Many retirements from academic libraries expected in the next 5-10 years (see citations under Demographics below).
- Librarianship as a career in academia with similar benefits and salary to those of teaching faculty.
- What is librarianship? It’s not shelving or checking out books…
- Variety of specialties within academic libraries: reference; instruction; bibliographer (collection development); cataloging; preservation; special collections (rare books); government documents; law; medicine, etc.
- Importance of foreign language knowledge in some of these specialties (e.g., cataloging, special collections, bibliographer in some fields).
- Graduate education in library and information science: not trade school, is broad rather than narrow.
- Include link to ALA list of accredited programs; mention distance education; most library programs have a Web page with program requirements and course descriptions.
- Importance of gaining some practical library experience, through an internship, practicum or part-time library employment (not the same as student assistant work), even targeted volunteer work, to improve employment prospects for that first professional job.
- Why you enjoy what you do; for a selection of relevant quotations from librarians, see: What do librarians have to say about their profession?
- Success stories of recent graduates of the institution who became academic librarians.
- WESS Recruitment Toolkits Main Page
- Toolkit for Presentations to Learned Societies
- On-line Resources
- Recruitment Bibliography
- WESS Recruitment to the Profession Committee Resources
This site is an outreach project of the Western European Studies Section (WESS), a section within the Association of College and Research Libraries, itself a division of the American Library Association.
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