One of the hardest things about breaking into a profession, a workplace, any new environment really, is knowing what’s valued and what’s not. From the little things, like, does anyone care that I’m not wearing a tie, to bigger things, like, has anyone noticed that I haven’t published in the last five years–you have to know where the target is to hit the bull’s eye.

And of course, the target is moving.

On the AALL Futures Summit front: consider job postings. Anymore, a firm, a university, a government agency wants you to have:

  • a Master’s in Library Science
  • a Juris Doctorate
  • 5+ years of specialized experience (reference, cataloging)
  • computer programming experience: SQL, Access, etc.
  • web design experience: XML, Dreamweaver, Coldfusion, HTML, etc.
  • management experience
  • social media know how

Don’t already have those qualifications? Tant pis, there are no entry level positions available. Or, there are entry level positions, but they still have all of these requirements, and pay nothing. Or, the positions available are only temporary, so you’ll have to balance professional development with a perpetual job search and constant relocation.

It’s probably the economy. There is a great article in New York Magazine this week about how people of my generation are a little extra screwed by the current situation. Everyone  has to do more with less, libraries a little more so.

I see Question 3, for today, asks about what would make me more likely to be a leader in AALL, and what AALL could do to support my leadership. That’s an easy answer: if I were confident that I would be employed by next year’s annual meeting, I’d sign up in a heart beat. But, until I learn how to do something with the interwebz other than blogging and tweeting, and until I get better at database construction, and interviewing, and make time pass faster so I have more years of experience, I feel like I’m on shaky ground.