A brief history of a miserable job search.

At my library school orientation, I was regaled with stories of recent graduates who had prospective employers beating down their doors begging them to work for them. I was told that as an MLIS grad from Prestigious Library School, I would have absolutely no problem finding a job. After all, with the "graying of the library profession," lots of people at the top would be retiring, and people would move up to fill those positions, leaving a lot of good entry level jobs for new grads to fill.

Then September 11th happened, the economy went to shit, budgets were cut, and grads in just about every field found it difficult--if not damn near impossible--to find a job. It's been almost two years, but the situation isn't any better. The "graying" of the librarian population is definitely on target. I went to ALA this summer, and I was appalled at the number of coelacanth librarians--you know, "living fossils." But these people are never going to retire. They're waiting for their retirement funds to be worth what they were worth in 2000, and they'll die in their fancy chair in the director's office before that happens. Which means that I've got to wait for them to kick the bucket so everyone else can move up a rung so I can get an entry-level job. Of course, it'll take between two months and a year to fill any given position because of the snail's pace of library hiring.

I have a sparkling resume, and I give good cover letter, so I've been able to score a number of interviews. In a way, this is positive, because I have friends who haven't had an interview yet, and have been looking longer than I have. I'm so damn sick of the hiring song-and-dance at this point. I'm tired of describing my work experience and my management style and how I handle difficult situations to a committee who already knows who they're going to hire. The whole idea of interviewing multiple candidates "in the name of fairness" when an internal candidate is going to be promoted is silly. Don't dick me around, employers. I've had it.

Anyone else going through this same sort of hell? Anyone else out there irritated at the fact that complete and utter boneheads who graduated with you have jobs and you don't? Anyone else not afraid to be a little bit bitter and ranty sometimes?

Holla back, yo.


And equally aggravating, was the looking for low-paying jobs - where the company in question would put "Now Hiring" signs in the doors, but didn't actually have any positions to fill - they just wanted applications submitted. So in case any of their work ers left, they'd go to the most recent applications and call them in. Which means you're basically wasting your time filling out applications on the off chance that someone might leave, and you might get an interview.As powerless as job-hunting applica nts are, there's nothing you can do about this.Expect this cost-saving measure to move up to more prestigious places soon.-- Ender, Duke_of_URLÇs

Just linked to your blog via LISnews and wanted to say: hang in there. Job search hell will eventually come to an end, and you'll be a lot more prepared than those people who are about to be laid off from the jobs they got during the flush years.

I graduated from library school during the bleak years of the early 90s. I asked an archivist I knew what was the best way to get an archival job, and she said: "read the obituaries." Decided I didn't want to go into archives anyhow, but eventually found a library job--just had to move to a part of the country I would not have considered before.

Back then, almost no one was getting interviews in my class and it took people months/a year to find a job, and I went to a "good" highly ranked library school. Hundreds of people were applying for a single position.

Things might be worse now, especially that the library administrators/ALA people have really upped expectations of a shortage, which only happened for a couple of years. Thanks guys.

Now that I relocated to a library-school intense area, I'm in an "entry level" job paying an entry level salary--with 10+ years of experience! So, you may be completing with people like me, unfortunately.

But you do have the advantage of being newer, more enthusiatic, and have better technology skills!

One lesson I've learned: many libraries don't advertise actively in hard times...you may want to really check their websites, and check around at special libraries too.

I had the same experience 10 years ago. I thought I'd done everything right: I did an internship, worked at my univ. library as a student librarian, took all the right classes, was willing to relocate, etc. I prepared for my job search in Jan. 92 by sending out applications to everything in sight. Graduated in june, no job. Sept rolls around -- still no job, and now out of money. Had to move back in with my parents while I watched others in my class go on to their first jobs, and I sat at home moping. Finally jan 93 comes and I go to mid-winter and I get three job offers from all three of the NYC public libraries. I picked NYPL, and spent three years there before moving back to my neck of the woods and moving on -- and I've never looked back. You might try going to NYC and scheduling interview with all three libraries, if they are still hiring these days.

This is the way that the library field works. It has nothing to do with your qualifications. It's simply a matter of waiting long enough.It's unfortunate, but it's simply the way that we do business.

Aaaargh! I'm having the same hideous experience. I, too, was led to believe that jobs were plentiful for recent MLIS grads. Hah! I've been looking for months. Most employers don't even bother to respond. I'm completely "over" spending hours on those moronic supplemental questionnaires. Out of desperation to obtain some sort of experience, I've been shlepping books on and off the shelves at the local p.l. as a volunteer. It appears that I have a master's degree in putting stuff on and off a shelf...perhaps I can garner employment as a stock clerk somewhere and put that degree to good use. But at least I have someone to commiserate with... my husband just got furlouged. So, as my 40th birthday approaches, I find myself unemployed and moving back in with my parents. What fun. So... rest assured you are not alone in your woes! Let's hope this economy improves. Cheers.

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