Careers in Federal Libraries

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Event Review: “Strategies for Resumes & Job Searching”

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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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