Careers in Federal Libraries

All about Federal careers

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Incredible Value of Government Documents

Yes, government information helps people find jobs, apply for loans, obtain grants, and a host of millions of other applications. 

But did you realize that the value of the documents themselves gain incredible value over time? 

Take one government documents librarian’s tale of watching his favorite Antiques Roadshow.  Imagine his surprise in seeing Norman Rockwell “Four Freedoms” posters worth $4,000-$6,000 value on the show from someone’s private collection.  Apparently, the video highlighted one poster with the GPO printed at the bottom and dated 1943. 

Imagine what treasures lay in government collections and their street value! 

Tune in at about 16:56 on the time of this episode   


Event review: Unusual Opportunities to Enhance Your Resume”

Guest blog by

On Saturday, January 21st I attended an ALA Midwinter workshop called “Unusual Opportunities to Enhance Your Resume”, conducted in the ALA Joblist Placement Center. Tiffany Brand was the first speaker. She is an Information Services Professional that specializes in virtual reference, research assistance, and social media management. She communicated that one can find opportunities in the government if you are savvy in social media. She went on to offer a sort of tutorial on Twitter. I might she also is the manager for the Career in Federal Libraries twitter account as well as the co-manager for the CIFL FB page. Her level of expertise in understanding Twitter’s functions and how to make it work for you way beyond the average person. It was experience to learn from her. A couple cool tips I found very handed included:

1. She taught us how to find hashtags related to your job search: scan job ads for keywords: #online education, #library #jobs, Bureau of Labor. This would be in addition to using basic/advanced search websites such as, (which is a good way to check the frequency and popularity of a specific hashtag).

2. She introduced, which uses established hashtags, and is great for finding groups of people with similar interest: #alamw12

Also at the ALA Midwinter workshop called “Unusual Opportunities to Enhance Your Resume”, I got to hear Purdue Ph.D. student, Temitope (Temi) Toriola share about how she was able to network through ALA’s Emerging Leaders program. She joined the Ethics Committee, which relates to her research in information security or more specifically interest in digital intellectual property, e-book piracy, digital copyright, and the ethics behind it all. She said that it was because of her devoting time selflessly to accomplishing tasks for the Ethics Committee that she was referred to Nancy Faget, who offered her some valuable advice to consider if she was going on for her Ph.D. Nancy told her about the Federal Cyber Security Scholarship for Service: Temi not only got the scholarship, but she also got into Purdue University’s Information Securities program! Her success showed me the diverse set of career options that info. pros. have to choose from. She also mentioned that she interned with the Pentagon and that this experience also helped her to be successful.  She has a wiki and blogspot that is apart of graduate work that I’ll do a little plug for here, if you don’t mind: and Support this grad student by checking it out!

The ALA Midwinter workshop called “Unusual Opportunities to Enhance Your Resume” also had a speaker named Cindy Hirsch. She is law library fellow at the Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library at The University of Arizona’s College of Law. She came to speak to us about opportunities to become formal blog posters or guest posters for the Careers in Federal Libraries Blog:  www.

This a great chance for those of us that want careers in a federal library or other federal employment, to share information and help each other attain our professional goals. I think Cindy did a great job informing us of this exciting resource that we can contribute to! The workshop also went into how there is a CIFL Google Group (that I am apart of – and let me tell you- it is worth joining! You get so much great and current information about job opportunities), CIFL Facebook Group: www.facebook/CareersFedLibrary, CIFL Twitter:, and LinkedIn group:

I have to say that this workshop helped me realize the importance of networking and that participating in ALA events can go a long way- especially if you are willing to take on some responsibility to help with a committee and committees are. The workship also taught me about important resources that will help me with my job search. I am sorry if you missed out on this event. I hope my post(s) have been helpful!


Event Review: “Strategies for Resumes & Job Searching”

Guest blog by

On Sunday, January 22nd I attended an ALA 2012 Midwinter workshop called “Strategies for Resumes and Job Searching”, conducted in the ALA Joblist Placement Center.

The first speaker was Michelle Chronister, who is/was a Presidential Management Fellow that is working for the U.S. General Services Administration as a Program Analyst and  Content Manager at the Federal Citizen Information Center. Michelle talked about her PMF experience. She started by sharing about the PMF program ( She explained that it is a highly competitive program and that she wishes more library science students would apply for it when they are about to graduate. She explained that they are looking for highly motivated individuals that can demonstrate that they would be devoted federal employees if selected as a PMF finalist. She went onto say that a PMF will work for two years while getting 80 hours of training each year until they are potentially offered a full time position from an agency. It was very interesting to learn from her because she had actually succeeded in the PMF selection process. I was surprised to learn much of the selection process for the program is about assess your what your professional character is like and if it will be a fit for working for the government. This was helpful to learn.

Next at the “Strategies for Resumes and Job Searching” workshop, there was an extremely outgoing and inspiring speaker, named Virginia Sanchez.  She is an Intelligence Specialist working for the U.S. Navy. She began by sharing about two wonderful resources for Veterans that are looking for jobs–perhaps some of you are eligible for it… it was called the Feds Hire Vets ( and Hire Heroes USA ( If you qualify for this, you should really check out these sites. In addition to this, she gave some advice for job seekers that are still ringing in my ears: stay positive, don’t burn bridges, and stay connected. How true! It’s a simple system to follow and yet it is so effective and valuable to keep in mind. I actually thought about it this week when a coworker of mine took another position that he is excited about. I also found it extremely interesting to hear her share about how her affiliation with SALIS(Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists grp.) made her resume stand out among a pool of applicants to get her a job at one point. I now realize the importance of displaying the organizations I am a member of on my resume. Very interesting point!

Another speaker at the “Strategies for Resumes and Job Searching” workshop, was a graduate from the University of North Texas’ Library and Information Science program- where I am getting my degree. I am so was excited to see an alumni of my institution that is gainfully employed at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Her name is Nancy Clark. Interestingly she lives in Dallas, but formally works for the D.C. Office. It’s just one of those things some of the VA librarians can do, I guess. Her virtual library and library services often answer questions about  how to participate in the healthcare plan and patient education. She mentioned there may be some changes headed our way about the 1410 series on USAjobs- so heads up people! She described a couple “Visim”? VA librarian opportunities that were positions coming up for those job seekers that might be interested. After Nancy spoke, Jennifer Manning shared about her position at the Congressional Research Services. If you go to the CIFL slideshare page, her handout is provided there. She went into how she is analyst and sometimes she does government resource training for interns and other new additions to various government agencies that might benefit from such training. You should really look at the handout if you have a chance!

Andrea Davis was the final speaker at this workshop. She is a recent college grad that received a job opportunity to work under the expired program FCIP (Federal Career Intern Program:, which essentially is being reorganized under the Pathways program. Andrea’s title is: Reference and Instruction Librarian for the Dudley Knox Library at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. Her perspective on networking was incredibly refreshing!! She encouraged people not to be intimidated when networking. She made an excellent point that it should be something to have fun with- almost like a game. She encouraged people to go to conference and meet people to broaden their professional circle. She encourage students to apply for any scholarships that are specifically meant to be used to attend conferences. Many library schools have such opportunities. That’s true. Mine does!

[Learn more about hiring reforms and Pathways program ]

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