Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview Panic

So I have an interview tomorrow. It's a "group assessment". It will go for three hours. I'm kinda freaking out.

I've found quite a few resources online that talk about group interviews, but for the most part they're aimed at retail & sale positions - which is where I have experienced group assessment before - and not at professional positions. This article is by far the best of all that I have read, and has given me some useful tips.

The first one being - Don't Panic. Ha! Easy for you to say. But OK, let's work through this.

I am currently in prep mode. Which, for me, involves frantically researching everything at once.

So I have:
  • looked at all the programs the library service offers and thought up some additional ones to suggest
  • investigated the demographics of the catchment area and made some notes regarding trends and target groups
and I have yet to:
  • read some articles on management and teamwork and get "buzzword-ed" up
  • investigate team/management scenarios and solutions
  • figure out my key 3 skills
  • read back over my application and figure out why the hell I thought I was suitable for this job
I remember applying for the job and being very confident that I could do it, looking at what they asked for and knowing that I was capable of meeting the requirements, and doing a good job. I just need to rediscover that confidence, and re-find my mojo.

Wish me luck.

PS Interview outfit is sorted. Business-like dress, purple patent heels and new earrings I just bought for the occasion. At least I'll look the part!

Friday, July 2, 2010

On Publishing

I can't remember who was commenting during #blogeverydayofjune about the dearth of Australian Library publishing. And I'm too lazy right now to find it.

But here is a GREAT opportunity:

Seeking Submissions for Proposed Anthologies from Practicing Librarians

1. Library Collaborations with Writers, Artists, Musicians and Other Creative Community Members
How local writers, artists, musicians and other creative people and libraries help each other and their community. These creative members (who are also voters) appreciate the resources and stimulus libraries provide the creative process and like making their work known. Librarians are asked to share successful activities and collaborations with these patrons.

2. Library Services for Multicultural Patrons to Encourage Library Use
How to make the multi-cultured community members regular library users. A how-to for librarians restricted by time, money, and staffing: creative librarians using various outreach methods to overcome language and cultural barriers to serve all those in their communities and turn them into regular patrons.

Publicity Methods to Keep Libraries in the News
An anthology by and for librarians striving to spread the word what their libraries offer, what they do, their service role. Changing economics and life styles presents challenges to librarians often restricted by cutbacks in staff, hours, and money: how creative librarians using many publicity methods to promote their libraries and make them recognized as an essential resource for all ages.

Publisher: Routledge Books
Articles: 3000-5000 words; 1 author or 2, 3 co-authors
Compensation: complimentary copy, discount on more
Librarians outside the U.S. encouraged to contribute

Editor: Carol Smallwood, MLS
Writing and Publishing: The Librarian's Handbook, American Library Association 2010 http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2646

Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook, American Library Association, 2010 http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2774

Thinking Outside the Book: Essays for Innovative Librarians, McFarland, 2008

others by ALA, Peter Lang, Linworth, Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited

Please e-mail in a Word .doc (older version) attachment 4 topics/titles each described in 2-3 sentences by July 25, 2010 and a 75-85 word 3rd person bio: your name, library of employment, city/state location, employment title, where you got your degree, awards, publications, and career highlights. Please include publisher/date for books. If co-authored, a separate 75-85 word bio on each contributor. Please: no long resumes or abstracts-your selected title/abstract/bio composes a tentative table of contents for Routledge. You will be contacted which of your topics are not duplications, inviting you to e-mail your submission if Routledge decides to publish; your bio's will appear in the anthology. Please place COLLABORATION; MULTICULTURAL; or PUBLICITY/your name on the subject line: smallwood@tm.net

On overcommitting

I've decided to take a leaf out of Hoi's book (blog) and title some posts "On ..."

This one is on doing too much. Or more correctly, on my attitude towards doing too much.

It's odd, because secretly I think I'm a quite lazy person. (Not a secret anymore I guess!) I watch a LOT of TV, spend a lot of time on teh intertubes, tweeting, blogging and reading blogs, reading silly stuff about celebrities, and chatting to friends or whatever. Oh, and I love sleeping.

But I actually do a lot. I work. I volunteer for ALIA (some say too much!). I do yoga. I spend a lot of time with my family, friends and pets. I occasionally date. I occasionally diet and exercise (small steps). And I've just submitted a mammoth proposal to do a huge research project on a conference mentoring trial.

It wasn't until I had submitted the 14 page document detailing the outline, methodology, timeline, budget and (projected) outcomes of this study that I realised that I had effectively given over the next year of my life to this project. And I also realised that I'd thought I needed to get everything done within a year - rather than complete the project, and THEN submit the deliverables within a year after that.

"Is it for a Masters or a PhD?" people keep asking me. "Um, no." "Are you getting paid for it?" That would be a "No" again. So why are you doing it?

The best answer I can give actually came from @restructuregirl : Fun, joy and networking.
Why add study to that? Chill out

I'd add: because I think it's a really important initiative for new graduates, and supporting new professionals is really important. And I absolutely love conferences, and want others to have the best experience possible.

Further lessons in chilling out came (apart from the multitude of Darth Vader clips @restructuregirl proceeded to send to me - she's obsessed!) from various sources.

Kay Harris, the awesome Convenor of Information Online where I'll be running the Conference Mentoring trial, offered me all sorts of assistance and help (including some volunteers to help out! Yay!), and in a follow up email wrote:
small steps my dear - plenty of people to help

My very best library friend (and one of my very best friends of all time) virtually a librarian talked me down from my anxiety ledge around the research project and gave me some salient advice around managing multiple projects and work.

@KatyKat and I had a great natter last night around life, libraries, study, work, ALIA and everything in between which left me feeling more invigorated and supported and part of a team that will achieve stuff! (Go NGAC!)

So I'm going to revisit my proposal, and make a coupld of adjustments to the timeline, and treat it more as fun and less as work. Because the reason I signed myself up for this stuff is not to to make myself stressed out: it's to help others and make a difference, and (hopefully) create a program that will be of lasting value to the profession. And to have fun while doing it.