Toolkit for Campus Presentations

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WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Recruitment to the Profession Committee > WESS Recruitment Toolkits > 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.
Potential audiences:
  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students: M.A.s and Ph.D.s
  • Faculty
  • Career development office
  • Administrators
Outreach strategies:
  • 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.
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WESSWeb > WESS Committees > Recruitment to the Profession Committee > WESS Recruitment Toolkits > Toolkit for Campus Presentations

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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