Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another disappointing email

This was from a University near me, wouldn't have meant I have to move:

Thank you for your interest in our position. I regret to inform you that due to the current budget situation, we are not going to proceed with filling the position at this time.

Oh well. I've so far received three rejection letters out of about 18+ applications. Most I haven't heard a peep from, and three I've gotten cards or emails or even actual letters letting me know they've received my ap packet and will let me know (see previous post). Some of the aps are online applications, and so you get immediate feedback such as 'you've successfully applied for X job'.

Monday, October 27, 2008

nice letter from HR dept

Here is the slightly edited text of a letter I received today:

"Dear Mr _______,

Thank you for your interest in employment with X. We recently received your application/resume for our Librarian position in X Library. As the search process continues, you will be notified if any further action on your part is necessary. All candidates will be notified at the conclusion of the search."

They then invited me to visit their website for more information about the library facilities and the town.

I opened it expecting a rejection notice, so was pleasantly surprised! I thought it a very nice letter.

'The Director'

Monday, October 20, 2008

Economy prompts increased Library Use!

The full story is here:
Library use rises as economy falls

in part,

Haverhill assistant library director Susan Katzenstein said the city's public library is usually "an incredibly busy place." But nowadays, "our usage is through the roof."

The Haverhill library is not alone. Across the region, local public libraries are reporting a surge in use, a trend officials tie directly to the economic hardship many are facing.

"People don't have as much disposable income, so the library provides an easier resource for books," [NOBLE executive director Ronald Gagnon] said, noting other materials, such as DVDs and CDs, that libraries offer. "It just flies in the face of people who say, 'Who needs libraries anymore?' "

... some librarians express concerns about their ability to accommodate growing numbers of patrons as their own budgets become tighter.

"We hope people realize that in tough times, it's important to keep the library service going so people have a place to come," [library director Deborah] Abraham said.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Blackmore's Night 'Secret Voyage'

Ok, so I'm not searching for jobs all the time. I needed a break, and heard that Blackmore's Night had a new album out. So when I opened my email and found a 40% off all CDs coupon from Borders Rewards, I thought it would be a good diversion.

Frankly, it is their best album yet. The group is maturing, and has added some interesting orchestration to their music. It's not just the 'renaissance folk rock' sound. Oh, that's still there, the recorders, the flute, the acoustic and electric guitar of Ritchie Blackmore, the vocals of Candice Night, the period instruments. and the usual moderinizing of traditional renaissance dance tunes. But they've added an interesting and needed dimension to the music with this album (which is also available on vinyl, by the way!).

(Interesting note: the opening tune, "God save the keg", was used as the Bridal March for Candice when she and Ritchie married earlier this month.)

If you've not heard them yet, or have heard them but just not in a while, I recommend this album.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

job closing dates and disappointments

Well, it seems that there are a LOT of jobs out there for Librarians.

1) The problem is that none of them are in my 'backyard'. Which means --- MOVING.

Yep. But I'm cool with that. As long as it's within say, a day's drive and in a nice area, with decent salary offering.

2) A second problem is salary. There are a lot of positions that simply state "Salary commensurate with experience" or similar wording. Does that mean that a) the salary is below average and they don't want everyone laughing at them or b) they don't want to say because then everyone will want the job or b1) it will make current employees jealous?

Then there are the jobs that are in city areas where the cost of living is high. Not just 'high' but "HIGH", that only pay $26,000 to $29,000. I've passed up a few choice positions because of that.

I actually visited one of these libraries (Public/County) and spoke with a staff memember about this. She said their director was over at the Commission offices every day trying to get the salary level increased, as they have very few applications for the position at what they are offering. And even fewer actually qualified!

I mean, if I were a young, single guy, that would be no problem. Throw my stuff in a car, hit the road, shack up in a mobile home -- no problem. But when you are -- ahem -- a bit older than that, with a family ... what are the employers thinking? Even splitting the family would require more than $30K to maintain two households, even if one is a mobile home in a decent trailer park.

3) All the closing dates and dates for application reviews are half-a-month or more in the future. Good thing we have savings to fall back on, but still, the stress level is rising. My wife is also getting frustrated with me messing up her routine by being home all the time. I told her "Hey, it's good practice for when I retire." She actually threw a pillow at me.

4) Thank heavens for the internet. In the old days, I'd have to telephone county offices, HR departments, etc. to see if there were any openings, then request their application, type it, attach my resume and cover letter, and mail it via USPS. Then wait.

Now? Now all I have to do with most positions is create a cover letter, and email my resume and references to the HR contact. And I usually get confirmation within a day that my packet has been received. Amazing! It would have taken me a month to apply for the positions I've recently applied for in one morning. I love it. (ok, not really "LOVE" it, but it's a better system.)

Ok, well that's my update. Waiting for interview requests to come pouring in.

I hope that by doing this, some of you will gain valuable insight into the process, and maybe let me know how YOUR job searches are going. Or if you hear of something I might be interested in at YOUR SouthEastern library system or educational facility. I'm a former academic and really want to get back with that. I've pretty much had it with Public politics. After I get my job, I'll post all the sources I've used. (yep, I'm open, but not crazy!)

See you there.

"The Director" (former)

Friday, October 3, 2008

insight in the job seeking process.

I haven't posted anything for a while, mainly because, well, I don't really have anything to post!

So far I've had ONE interview, and just got the call that I did not get the job (but I was in the running -- top three. And I got a CALL not a letter! Now that's class.) and I got a letter informing me that I did not make the cut on another position.

I think I have about a dozen applications out there right now.

It's interesting. Thanks to the internet and email, I can apply for jobs in remote areas (North/South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, other places in the state) without leaving my computer. In olden days I'd either have to send out a ton of resumes and letters of inquiry, or drive mega miles asking about jobs. I do so like the internet. :-)

I've found that:

Most academic libraries only request a cover letter and resumé, some want transcripts, too.

Public Libraries request an official application, most of the time they're available as a download or can be filled in online.

Sometimes, however, I've had to actually MAIL an application packet in to the HR of the county or university. average cost: $1.50 still a bargain.

So, I'm still here, still looking.

"The Director".