Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book/Movie Reviews

9.16.09 - Day 258Image by katieharbath via Flickr

One of the things that I planned for the blog is the occasional book/movie review. Now, I've been busy the last two weeks with this inter-filing/shifting thing so not only haven't I written any new posts, but I also haven't gone to the movies either. Now as many of you know, September is one of the black hole months for movie releases, the other is January. I say this because those are the two months, right after big movie seasons, the summer and holiday seasons, where movie studios dump their garbage flicks. The end result is there aren't too many movies worth seeing during those months. Once the good movies start being released again, be sure that I will post some movie reviews.

The other type of review that I'll post are book reviews. I'll start off with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown that was just released this past Tuesday. For those that don't know, this is the third book featuring the character of Dr. Robert Langdon of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code fame. Yeah I know it's pulp literature, food for the masses, blahblahblah and all that jazz but I enjoyed the first two books for what they were so we'll see where this takes us.

A little word though on how I read books. I tend to read rather slowly and being a huge film fan, I play scenes out in my mind, as I am reading, cinematically (if that is a real word) full of cheesy pauses in dialogue and the like. So truth be told, who knows when I'll get the book done. Plus I read like four books at a time and pick what book to read depending on my mood. Right now I have, along with The Lost Symbol, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Thunder & Ashes by R.A. Zecht on my plate though I think I'll finish off Blink then focus on The Lost Symbol since I've teased the review enough.

Oh, and maybe a movie review in the meantime.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Academic Library Job Hunting

Business MeetingsImage by thinkpanama via Flickr

Been ruminating on this topic for a while as I am on the search committee for new librarian hires. Interesting thing here is that I actually like being on the committee and that is not a suck up line in case my superiors find this blog sometime in the near future. Originally I was picked to be on the committee then I volunteered and now, I think, it's just assumed that I would volunteer. No matter to me, like I said before, I dig it.

Now, first things first, I work in an academic library so our interviews have an instructional component to them. So let's go over some do's and don'ts shall we?

1. This really goes for any job interview but, be on time. You'd be surprised at how many people, all with at least one Masters degree too, show up late. Late getting to the interview is a quick way to make sure you don't get the job. If there are extenuating circumstances like a car accident or something, at least call.

2. Another general one but, be prepared. Don't show up and wing it. Do some research about the institution and the position you are applying for and if your answers seem canned, so be it, it at least shows preparation (and not H).

3. Make eye contact, especially when doing a demo lesson. We had this one applicant who knew his stuff but he never looked at anyone. It was rather distracting as it was as if he was making a point not to make eye contact. The end result was that his presentation was not engaging and it would be easy to see how college students would take away little from his presentation.

4. Know what it expected of you. If you are asked to do a demo, ask if they want it on a particular topic or in a particular format. If you are interviewing at a place that uses a certain piece of software or technology, ask them if they do so you can prepare something that is right up their ally. For instance, if school likes to use PowerPoint, then prepare something in PowerPoint. The only way you will find out is to ask. Don't put yourself in a position where you seem a bit underwhelming on your demo because you use something that they don't use or fins outdated.

5. Last one as I will limit this to only five, be engaging. I suppose this can go for any interview but especially one in which you deal with people on a regular basis and one where you have a teaching component to it. Show your personality, win us over, smile and be yourself. I've seen way to many people who come in and are like robots, too afraid to do something or say something that would knock them out of contention for the job and come off like stiffs. Remember, if you are interviewing for a reference job (and I'll get to this later) then you are essentially interviewing for a customer service job. Show that you can be that customer service guru and sell us on you as you would sell a student on a particular source.

Now, disclaimer time. This really applies for people looking for a reference/instruction position. For instance, if you are a cataloger and interview for that type of academic job then you can skip the last three.

Well that's just my 2 cents on the matter but what do I know, I'm just a rookie librarian.
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