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Wednesday, November 7 • 11:30am - 12:10pm
Nothing happens unless first a dream: Demystifying the academic library job search and acing the application process

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Academic library positions are often highly desirable for new librarians and experienced librarians interested in transitioning into a different setting. Yet for both novice and experienced librarians alike, landing an interview for an academic librarian position can feel intimidating and overwhelming. Applicants may have no academic library experience, no coursework in relevant areas, and may be competing with a large pool of qualified candidates. When academic job openings ask for years of academic library experience and library school specializations suggest that the path you pick is the path you keep until retirement, it begins to feel as though finding a position in an academic library is an insurmountable endeavor. As three librarians who have successfully made the move into an academic setting, we can attest that though the way may be unclear, this goal is not impossible to achieve. In this session, attendees will learn about transitioning to an academic library from diverse backgrounds and hear lessons learned from three early-career librarians.

This session will provide attendees interested in the Up and Coming thread valuable behind-the-scenes insight into the academic hiring process. Session attendees will:

● Learn how to tailor their application materials to an academic position and why this is crucial for success
● Get a glimpse of some of the situations and expectations they are likely to encounter during the interview process and suggestions for handling them
● Leave with a greater understanding of some of the facets unique to the academic setting with which applicants might not be familiar (e.g., shared governance, highly specialized roles, and the tenure process)

The presenters will develop and share handouts, including a sample job description with application materials tailored to that position, and look forward to a lively discussion with session attendees. MLS students are encouraged to attend.


Whitney Jordan

Acquisitions Librarian, Western Carolina University
avatar for Scottie Kapel

Scottie Kapel

Scholarly Communications Librarian, Hunter Library, Western Carolina University
Scottie Kapel (she/her) is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at Western Carolina University, where she frequently works with students creating non-traditional research products. In addition to her scholarly communications responsibilities, Scottie is the liaison to criminology... Read More →

Elizabeth Skene

Special and Digital Collections Librarian, Western Carolina University

Wednesday November 7, 2018 11:30am - 12:10pm EST
Magnolia Room, Courtyard Marriott 125 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401, USA