ReferenceWORK:

27 February 2006 

I've been nibbling on Donald Asher's book, "How to get any job with any major", for a little while now and it had some amusing moments. First off, I still cannot believe that Alan Greenspan was a music major! Secondly, Asher recalls how University of Texas imposed a strict hiring freeze with no exceptions - and they then went and hired a football coach! He says that the universal truth is that "companies are always hiring"; someone quits, retires, is laid off, on maternity leave and so on. Now if it was easier to convince everyone of this universal truth...

26 February 2006 

The current copy of SmartMoney has an article titled "How to make a Million" (March 2006 p. 62) that focuses on... well...making a million. I found two interesting nuggets from that article:

1) Health can create wealth because, if you improve your general health, you can save money on possible future medical expenses.
2) According to Tory Johnson (CEO of Women for Hire), "If you just do your job, you don't get a raise and you don't get a bonus; you get a paycheck". Thus going beyond the minimum at your job, you can secure the opportunities for raises and promotions that translate into more income; treat your skills porfolio like your financial portfolio and diversify (according to Gregg Cesario of IBM)!

 

One of my latest endeavors has been to try and get an easy-to-use resume writing program for my library. I am still waiting to hear the verdict on my suggestion but, in the meantime, I managed to stumble upon some temporary help. Microsoft has free templates that can be downloaded and used (click here). I am a little tired of seeing the familiar trio of Contemporary, Elegant and Professional resume (no hard feelings). The downloadable templates are mostly for Word 97 and beyond, so that should be good. Actually, the link should take you to the Career section itself, which has other goodies.

Meanwhile, I have yet to check on it but I would hope that there is an open source resume-building alternative (Maybe I should make that my coding project). Fact of the day: The word "resume" itself gets 282 million hits in Google!!

24 February 2006 

My description of an ideal community-connected librarian is one who:
1) Is aware of the different groups that make up the local community (Demographics!!)
2) Constantly develops a referral network (I love my Rolodex)
3) Actively looks to get involved with boards or committee
4) Is not afraid to travel to reach patrons (meet them at churches, synagogues, clubs, schools)
5) Is aware of local issues (The local newspaper and TV news help a lot; serves as an ice breaker too)
6) Listens attentively, empathizes and smiles
7) Is suave like James Bond :)

Now the debate is, would Sean Connery make a better librarian than Pierce Brosnan?

22 February 2006 

I came across Chrystie Hill/Steve Cohen's blog titled "Library Build Communities" and I thought it was excellent considering serving the community needs is central to what ReferenceWork hopes to achieve. I'm going to pester Collection Development to score a copy for my library. Blurb from their site:

"This is a blog about community building for libraries. It’s supporting a book Steven and I plan to publish next year, but we hope will do much more than just support a book. We hope to engage all of our colleagues in a discussion on community building, and the work librarians do to support it."

 

I have come to the conclusion that I have no ability to focus. With my interests ranging from Investing to Python to Jeet Kune Do, blogging has dropped in the charts. Ofcourse, this is not totally a bad thing because it meant spending more time figuring out what piques my interest. So far my ideal job would be a kung fu coding guru with a diversified portfolio!

It is important to acknowledge your interests and the fact that they can change over time. With that said, if you feel like you are not sure about where you want to be careerwise, look at the kind of books, newspaper articles, activities and so forth that grab your attention. Pay attention to what specifically excites you about the item. You like reading about podcasting/Web 2.0 and you love talking about it? Why not speak about those topics to different groups? Why not teach a class about it? Why not help a brother out, Schwartz? (Sorry, remember my focus problem :) )