Academic library interview

May 10, 2006

Just returned from my first academic library interview. I was flown out (way out) to a small, liberal arts, private college to interview for a special collections/archivist position. The campus was lovely. The town, not so much. This rain and cloud loving librarian does not like hot, dry and sunny.

However, the job is a really nice one. I had to give my first presentation to a search committee and library staff. The only good thing I can say about that is that my first one is over! It is a fact of academic library life that one provides a teaching demonstration for the onsite interview. I created a quick Webpage with Google Page Creator, inserted a PowerPoint presentation and added some useful links. 

One positive thing (possibly the only positive thing to come out of the presentation besides the conviction that I should join Toastmasters!) is that a couple of search committee members and librarians were not aware of these extremely useful archival online resources. So, it's always good to be be able to demonstrate some of what is "out here" since there is such a plethora of good sites and many more bad and unreliable sites.

As the Web grows and digitizes, and blogs, wikis and social networking sites proliferate, I believe we humans are so totally on information overload. One of the reasons I believe librarians will never become obsolete. In the 21st century, knowing where to find information and how to evaluate information and use resources will become the "new normal" for us, the information brokers.

As to the job. Well, it is certainly out of my hands. I continue to apply for the positions in the area I know but the area I feel most comfortable with, history of medicine, well, those positions are very few and far between. I guess one would classify those as sub-sub speciality librarian positions.

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