As part of my effort to explore the available LIS career paths, I reached out to some SJSU iSchool alumni to learn about their jobs. The first stop on this career tour was 2016 graduate Stefanie Vartabedian. She is a Digital Music Librarian at Apple, which sounds exceptionally cool. I asked her to talk about special libraries, her work, and her path, and she was gracious enough to agree. I hope you find this as fascinating as I do!
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, where you work, and what you do?
With the fall semester fast approaching(!) and a new crop of INFO 203 students about to embark on their iSchool journey, it seems like a good time to point out some of the most helpful resources the Career Development team offers. New students – welcome! We’re happy to have you and feel quite strongly that you should be thinking about your career from day #1. Not-so-new students – my hope is that this is useful to you as well. If you haven’t taken advantage of these resources, it’s not too late to start!
The iSchool website, and the Career Development site in particular, host a HUGE amount of information within their virtual walls. I encourage you to take some time to explore them more thoroughly, but here are some places to start:
Figure it Out
You may or may not have considered using Facebook in your job search. But now that Facebook officially has a job search feature, it’s worth at least thinking about taking advantage. There are a few things to take into account, both about Jobs on Facebook and about using Facebook in general.
The most obvious point (to me, anyway) is that your privacy settings are really important. If you haven’t given your social media sites a privacy tune up, now is a great time. I mean it. Go. Now. I’ll wait.
Each spring for the past two years, Dr. Sue Alman has taught INFO 282 Emerging Future: Technology Issues and Trends to a creative group of iSchool students. How do I know they are talented? Because they proved it. (No, I was not among them!)
The iSchool showcases INFO 282 student projects on its website, which does a couple of great things. For one, the iSchool’s platform shows off excellent work. Classmates and colleagues can view projects in context, and student authors can point future employers to this page. This is an excellent example of how schoolwork can benefit your career.
Earlier this week, I attended the Special Libraries Association’s 2017 annual conference in Phoenix. Although I researched extensively, I didn’t really know what to expect, other than very hot weather. I definitely had first-timer’s butterflies, which I dealt with by making detailed packing and pre-trip to-do lists and worrying about my wardrobe choices.
Now that I’ve survived my first professional conference and had a minute to reflect on the experience, here are my takeaways:
It’s (un)officially summer, which means conference season is warming up (or fiery hot). These days, in addition to weird acronyms and too many reusable bags, conferences also come with their very own Twitter hashtags. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point, but they actually can be useful. #trust
Let’s start with a few basics:
Last week, the iSchool hosted another Library 2.017 mini-conference; this time, the theme was “Digital Literacy + Fake News.” Perhaps I should back up a bit – do you know about the free, virtual, Library 2.0 conferences that happen throughout the year? If not, you should definitely check them out, as it’s a pretty amazing collection of events that the iSchool puts together for the LIS community.
I wasn’t able to attend live this time, but one of the great things about webinars and online conferences is that you can view the recordings at your leisure. I’ve started watching them, and, although this conference didn’t have a career development theme, I see a few ways it relates:
I’m in the MLIS program, and I am the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about the archives world. So I did some research (like we do), and reached out for help. Dr. Pat Franks is the iSchool’s program coordinator for the Master's degree in Archives and Records Administration (MARA). She kindly agreed to answer my questions about MARA career paths. Because she so thoroughly replied, I wanted to share her responses with you.
So, without any further ado, I present Dr. Pat Franks!
From your CV, it looks as though you've been in the archives world since completing your MA, but from a business perspective rather than a MARA/MLS perspective. What got you interested in records and archives?
My career trajectory has always revolved around 3 points of interest: business, education, and recordkeeping (comprised of archives and records management).
By now you may have read on these virtual pages that the iSchool’s 2017 Emerging Trends Report has been released. It’s full of interesting information, so I wanted to connect with the author. Laurel Brenner, a fellow iSchool student, collected and analyzed data during the spring semester. I posed a few questions, and I’m sharing her answers below. I hope you find them as insightful as I do!
What surprised you the most about your findings?
In spite of what we may hear from skeptical family members or the cynical internet, there are a lot of jobs available for information professionals. That wasn't so much a surprise as a reassuring finding.
While you may need to be creative in your job search or possibly be willing to relocate, there are jobs out there!
Also, in academic, special, AND public libraries everyone is expected to staff the reference desk as at least a part of their jobs - from entry level circulation staff to higher management positions!
Last week, I previewed the Emerging Trends Report and suggested three things to look forward to: skills language, language inspiration, and a list of tech skills. In the time since I wrote that post, the 2017 Report has been published, and (she says modestly) those three predictions were spot on. This year’s slides have a wealth of information and career tips; it’s very much worth your while to look through them.
Here are a few tidbits that really jumped out at me from the 2017 Emerging Career Trends Report: