Careers in Federal Libraries

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Interesting article today on North Carolina helping Military Spouses on Licensing

North Carolina is the 9th state to smooth the path for military spouses.  The new law works to reduce barriers of entry into the workforce for military spouses across the U.S.

“Under the law, military spouses trained in jobs that require professional licenses or certification, such as school teachers, registered nurses or childcare professionals, will receive licenses to work in North Carolina, as long as they hold a license in a state with equal or more rigorous standards.”  See Pew States for more info. http://www.pewstates.org/

What I learned about #BigData this week

The Symposium on Digital Curation in the Era of Big Data: Career Opportunities and Educational Requirements (07192012) was hosted by the National Academies of Science. In no particular order, here are the highlights and comments that grabbed my attention.

Loved David Weinberger’s comment:  “The value of a scientific information commons is to have your nerds arguing with my nerds”.

NSF Office of Cyber Infrastucuture see Data as a Transforming Agent

  • will begin non-governmental awards and working groups across global boundaries soon
  • NSF stresses agile development, rough consensus to push forward quickly, and community involvement
  • What infrastructure is needed to move terabytes and petabytes quickly? How do we build and sustain that network?  

IMLS expects more proposals to educate MLIS and archivists in future; stressing the MLIS education funded thru grants to prepare to handling, life cycle mgmt digital content, analyzing data sets

David Weinberger, Harvard University, author of “Too Big to know” and “Everything is Miscellaneous”

  • move to filter data on the way out, not on the way in as a search and retrieval strategy
  • Today we do Collaboration across namespaces
  • Data as cells can be modeled by modeling a domain until you hit a certain level of complexity
  • Integrating multiple complex models increase the error rates
  • “The value of a scientific information commons is to have your nerds arguing with my nerds”

Joshua Greenberg, Sloan Foundation

  • A lack of digital curation capacity at the producer level provides a shaky foundation for big data future
  • What is a data scientist? Universities scrambling to train up staff, but perhaps not in digital curation activities
  • Sloan Foundation, funding data wrangling efforts, new skills in analysis, computational research

Myron Guttmann, NSF

  • Need specialized training and education w/in the scientific community itself; training for methodologists
  • Must integrate digital curation into the scientific research process; libraries, archivists and scientist join hands! Myron Guttmann, NSF: big data announcement from March drives toward more attention to curation, analysis, preservation in context
  • Committed to learning how scientific work is done, do as much training as they can by partnering w/ universities
  • How do we integrate those COIs into the scientific research community where the work is being done?  What kinds of communities for data are out there? We need to build COI around data in new and interesting ways
  • NSF policy requirement will try to tease out the findings of data management plans submitted since Jan 2011; one change will likely be in the NSF bio sketch which will require a list of by-products of research (reports, data set, videos)

 

Michael Stebbins, White House OSTP

  • Must be cautious of burdens on scientists; agencies are already queuing up policies on managing open data
  • Funds will naturally be shifted to solve big data problems
  • Forming private-public partnerships accelerates the research; nucleates activity
  • Administration worked hard to improve public access to technical data, technical publications and raw data sets
  • Data management plans needed for agencies; having those plans being reviewed by peers was great idea
  • At crossroads assessing what concerns about burdens need to be addressed; deep concerns related to sharing data

Margarita Gregg, NOAA

  • The digital era includes digitizing and harmonizing data that exists in tangible format only.
  • NOAA understands they will not be able to preserve everything, all data, in perpetuity.
  • Knowledge skills that they need are intersection between scientists, IT, librarian
  • Requirement for the future is to find interdisciplinary trained, hybrid worker
  • People need to understand and be comfortable with manipulating, understanding, and extracting data and then be able to translate into useful products; be able to discover which tools people really need and how do we provide so they are understandable to the end user.
  • Most pressing personnel needs are in data mining; systems architects; scientific stewardship
  • Workers needs skills in digital rights management and intellectual property management

 

Anne Kenney, Director, Cornell University Libraries

  •  62% library budget goes to electronic resources, mostly just a few publishers; Big Science major driver for ACRL libraries
  • Digital curation related issues prompted eScience working group at ACRL which noted gaps in capabilities
  • Guide for research libraries published as result of NSF data management mandate; eScience Institute hosted by ACRL
  • 7 roles for librarians and archivists listed in work entitled “New Roles for New Times”
  • in Humanities, focus on digital learning, creation on scholarly products rather than focusing on research products
  • in eScience, focusing more on harmonization of initially captured data; social networking in virtual communities
  • Lots of interest in embedded scientists in the library
  • Reskilling for Research — identifies 9 gaps in training (data mining, metadata creation, etc.) from librarian perspective
  • may be a role for teaching libraries as there are teaching hospitals

Vicki Ferrini, Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

  • Works as a data scientist, marine scientist trained in geoinformatics; liaise with the scientists to translate and apply data models, develop data discovery tools, build data compliance tools for NSF requirements; build education materials
  • Scientific data continuum changed (only making data available as part of a published report); now Columbia using data archivists for feedback between data producer and data consumer
  • Intersect data producers, data consumers, and data providers to find the data scientist; need domain knowledge, need acquisition skills, understanding of the data requires grounding in the science

 

Elizabeth Liddy, Dean Syracuse University School of Information

 

  • Data scientists competencies: Data analytics, data structure, data mining, ability to run information extraction on unstructured data, statistical analysis, recognize risk and noise and data quality, data and information visualization, understanding of infoviz tools, being able to design
  • Data archiving and preservation, how to select and provide access and storage, data stewardship, migration of data
  • Task force assembled at the iConference worked on these competencies

 

 

Nancy McGovern, Curation and Preservation Services, MIT Library

 

  • Amazon web conference in May: challenges include scale, complexity, speed
  • Start with data, then end with BIG data
  • Create a SWOT analysis, take your library skills in and compare to desired skills to define gaps
  • She helped with UNC Chapel Hill outcome matrix with categories for skill sets
  • Look for findings from project DIPR on dissemination packages research

Agencies eager for the New Pathways program effective July 10, 2012

Yes, hiring reforms in federal government are here to stay.  Of particular interest are the changes to student hiring (no more temporary employment, internships please), the recent graduate program (a welcome addition!), and changes in the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.

You may have heard that the PMF program added a special category for hiring those with degrees such as MLIS.  Great news, but seems as if it’s slow to roll out.  But if you’re interested in keeping abreast of this program, they’ve added a discussion list (email listserv@listserv.opm.gov with “Subscribe PMF” in the body of the email).

As folks in agencies hear how this is rolling out, please comment, share info, or discussion on the Careers in Federal Libraries LinkedIn group.

 

We surely want folks with our skill sets in government, so let’s pitch in and help each other share the knowledge.

NOT-to-be missed Career Event in Anaheim

Unusual Opportunities That Will Do More Than Enhance Your Resume        Saturday 6/23 from 1:30 – 3:00       FREE.

 

How can you make yourself stand out when all of the candidates have an MLS? What will impress the person doing the hiring?

This session will feature the different ways others have taken advantage of opportunities such as practicums, fieldwork, independent studies, and special projects in order to enhance your resume and impress hiring officials. Come to this session to meet with students, recent graduates, and federal librarians to learn about opportunities available to you that if taken,  will get you job offers.

Speakers from Careers in Federal Libraries,  GSA, Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Florida, University of Maryland, San Jose State University,  University of North Texas and more!

Questions? Contact Nancy Faget (Careers in Federal Libraries) or Kirsten Cassidy (LSU) CIFL2008@gmail.com

Use this opportunity to network with federal librarians, and get advice from speakers working in various federal libraries.

 

See the complete list of Career events in the ALA Placement Center  #ALA12

Careers in Federal Libraries at ALA 2012 Annual

Yes, we’re going to be in the ALA Placement Center again this conference!  Meet up with us Sunday, June 24.  Informal meet up at NOON with the event at 1:30-3:00. 

Are you aware that an MLIS might qualify you to work as a social media specialist, program planner, web content manager, writer, or editor? Did you know that many of these positions are available now through the Federal government?

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We invite you to join us on Sunday, June 24 for an eye-opening workshop about the types of federal job opportunities accessible to the MLIS degree holder. We’ll hear from the professional librarians who have firsthand experience within these positions, as they explore and discuss the types of careers available to new and upcoming MLIS graduates who have an interest in working for federal libraries.

 

Join us at noon for some light refreshments, followed by a panel discussion at 1:30 PM, and Q&A until 3:00PM. Attendees can use this opportunity to network with and get advice from the MLIS professionals working in federal positions. Learn about job opportunities from Julius Jefferson (Congressional Research Service), Michelle Chronister (GSA), and Virginia Sanchez (Dept. Homeland Security) and more!

 

This workshop is free and open to all.  New and upcoming MLIS graduates are highly encouraged to attend. Careers in Federal Libraries is sponsored by LSU School of Library and Information Science. Registration not required.

 

Questions?  Contact Nancy Faget (Careers in Federal Libraries) and Kristen Philyaw Cassidy (LSU) CIFL2008@gmail.com.

 

Getting Credit for your Experience — A Shocking Tale

I was shocked to hear that an agency viewed one particular candidate as ineligible or not meeting the minimum requirements for a job announcement.  

This individual has over a decade of experience as a contractor doing cataloging and indexing in a federal library.

To avoid this ridiculous situation, be sure to list the hours you worked next to each job experience on your resume.  Note if it was 10 or 40 hours a week so you can be assessed properly for the experience that you have to your credit.  Also, it’s not enough to simply list where and when you graduated.  Include the degree that you earned since it’s a requirement in some job announcements.

It’s a weeding process in any human capital office, so be sure they can’t toss your resume for not meeting the minimum requirements.

 

 

 

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 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/video/1606.html   

Event review: Unusual Opportunities to Enhance Your Resume”

Guest blog by Janelle.Richardson@unt.edu

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 hashtags.org, (which is a good way to check the frequency and popularity of a specific hashtag).

2. She introduced Twibs.com, 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: https://www.sfs.opm.gov/. 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: www.zoo-wiki.com and http://zoowikiblogspot.com. 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. careersinfederallibraries.wordpress.com

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: twitter.com/CareersFedLib, and LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=4163470

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 Janelle.Richardson@unt.edu

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 (www.pmf.gov). 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 (http://www.fedshirevets.gov/) and Hire Heroes USA (http://www.hireheroesusa.org/). 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: http://www.opm.gov/careerintern/), 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 ]

Information Professionals and Intelligence Analysis

Event review from Aileen Marshall

 

On November 8, 2011, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation/discussion at Catholic University in DC on “Library and Information Science and Intelligence Analysis: Converging Educational Paths?”.

A crowd of about 50 people, library students, professionals as well as professionals in transition, gathered in the Hannan Hall Auditorium on the beautiful campus to listen to five excellent speakers about the connection between library/information science and intelligence analysis. Although all speakers were excellent and their presentations insightful, this post concentrates on the speech given by Dr. Edna Reid, Intelligence Analyst at the U.S. Department of Justice. Whereas the other presentations mostly focused on intelligence analysis models, theories and practices, Dr. Reid introduced the audience to the language used in the field of intelligence analysis, and the impact that choosing the right jargon has on a resume and application.

An application for a position within the field of intelligence analysis requires a careful rewording of any standard library resume commonly used when applying for positions within a library. Dr. Reid emphasized that librarians have all the skills that are vital for gathering and creating intelligence, but that a lot of applicants fail to promote their skills when they fail to use community-specific terms.

Intelligence analysts identify, synthesize and analyze trends, threats and opportunities in a given environment, and gather information to understand an unfamiliar situation and its implications within a given context and/or overall problem. After the 9/11 attacks, the need for intelligence analysts grew quickly, and the shortage of qualified people hindered the ability of intelligence agencies to effectively identify and respond to terrorist’s use of the internet.

The main difference between an intelligence analyst and an information professional is the possession and mastery of high-level analytical (cognitive) skills. Whereas both professions are involved in gathering, organizing and managing information, a librarian is not usually required to analyze information and create intelligence reports crucial to mission-critical questions.

But it’s not only those skills information professionals need to acquire in order to be successful in an analyst position. Before we even get a shot at working within the intelligence community, we need to understand the language used within this field. Keep in mind that your resume, once submitted, may be first analyzed using data-mining software to determine if your resume even references the skills that the agency seeks. You might possess these skills but neglect to describe the skills in your resume. You might not use the right keywords in the resume, and that is the end of the application process for you.

So just to survive this first round and get a shot at an often times electronic interview, Dr. Reid introduced intel-specific terms that will help you reframe the language in your resume. In her article, Information Professionals as Intelligence Analysts: Making the Transition (2009), she compares terms used in other information disciplines to the ones used in intelligence analysis. It is critical that the resume is written with great care and focuses on these terms that describe the skills desired by the intel community.

If you are a librarian or other information specialist, you have surely heard of argument mapping, (reference) interview, timeline, etc. If you are thinking about becoming an intelligence analyst, you need to forget these terms and replace them with language that will get your resume through the first screening process. Argument mapping turns into The analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH), the Case Study Methodology is called Situational Logic, and the reference interview is a debriefing or even interrogation … yep, most of us have heard these terms when watching TV shows like NCIS or CSI, and honestly, who of us did not sit up straight and thought “Wow, these guys are doing all these cool things, interrogating people and tossing terms around like “Red Cell”. The latter, by the way, is the analytical technique used to pretend that the analyst is the bad guy; in other disciplines this is simply called the methodology of “Pretending to be the bad guy” (good cop, bad cop anyone?). Other words you should consider using in your resume to display your skills are: puzzles, dealing with the unknown, grow, develop, information architecture, patterns, and data mining.

In summary, librarians possess skills that are highly desirable in the intelligence community, but we need to acquire the mindset of an analyst and market our abilities in the right way in order to become of part of the interesting, exciting, and rewarding world of intelligence analysis.

Aileen Marshall holds an MLIS from the University of South Carolina and a MA in English linguistics from the Westfälische Wilhelms-University, Germany. She works as reference librarian for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and is an active member of the Special Library Association, especially the DC Chapter. She is the upcoming Chair-Elect for the SLA DGI, and enjoys advocating for libraries and the important role they play in society. As a former jail librarian, she shares her experience in an article published in the Jan./Feb. Edition of “Information Outlook“; you can learn more about her and her work at http://www.cyndera.com

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