Jobhunting Tips

Hi, you might recognize me from such emails as weekly BC Jobs updates on the LTAS listserv.  After jobhunting as a new graduate, then as an experienced Library Technician in a new city, I’ve learned a few things that might be helpful for others. Continue reading “Jobhunting Tips”


Job Search Resources for BC

Every weekend I send a message to the LTAS listserv with new job openings in BC that would appeal to people who have, or are getting, a Library Technician diploma.  Here are the online resources used to assemble those messages.  Thanks as always to my predecessor, Mandi Schwarz, for setting up most of the system. Continue reading “Job Search Resources for BC”

Revenge of Miscellany

Have your patrons received unsolicited emails asking them to publish in an open-access journal, join an open-access journal’s editorial board, or present at a conference they haven’t heard of before?  Beware of pseudo-academic publishers and promoters taking advantage of the open-access model.  This might seem like an issue for only academic libraries, but one of my engineers recently asked for help figuring out whether a journal that wanted to publish his paper was legitimate.  The email was so poorly written and proofread that I wouldn’t have published with them anyway!  The publisher also appeared on Beall’s List of apparently predatory publishers.  Subscription-based and advertising-based publishers can be unscrupulous too, but open-access is particularly vulnerable partly because it’s so new.  Here are sources of more information and lists to check:

The jobhunters among us may find this Mashable article useful: 5 Reasons Why Employers Don’t Respond After a Job Interview. (via SLA Connections newsletter)

What Does the HathiTrust Decision Mean for Libraries? examines the US Court of Appeals decision on mass digitization, in detail and with relatively plain language (via Andornot Consulting newsletter).

Sean Kheraj updated his list of online sources for historical Canadian newspapers on  “I found that Canada’s online historical newspaper archive is very limited, fragmented, and difficult to access… It turns out that there are a lot of people out there in search of historical Canadian newspapers on the Web and there doesn’t seem to be an adequate national index.” (via Andornot Consulting newsletter)

Halifax Public Libraries has a cool and technically interesting new Central Library opening soon!  Take a 3D tour here.  Even the American Society of Civil Engineers noticed: New Library Puts a Twist on Design.

Scribd e-book service has figured out which title is most downloaded in each US state. Personally I’m with Illinois & Wisconsin. Do any of you use Scribd?

Miscellany Returns

Fighting the perception that school libraries aren’t necessary, by The Adventures of Library Girl (via Stephen’s Lighthouse). Has the library fallen out of step with the school, or do people not know about the library’s good work?

Attention my jobhunting brothers and sisters: The Five Basic Questions Interviewers Really Want You to Answer. – Lifehacker

Author Lemony Snicket is setting up a prize for librarians who have faced book-banning adversity.

Together with the American Library Association, he is therefore setting up a new $3,000 award, The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity. “The Snicket prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them,” said Snicket, who is funding the prize from his own “disreputable gains”. “This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees,” said the author.

– The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2014 (via Stephen’s Lighthouse)

Ever wonder why Google returns results that don’t actually contain your search term?  Here’s one reason why: “Google has patented going beyond individual words to consider the entire query and then substitute words.”   – Web Search Guide and Internet News post.

Pictures of futuristic-looking libraries all over the world – Open Education Database (via Stephen’s Lighthouse).

Google searching tips from Lifehacker, with a couple of updates. – Web Search Guide and Internet News

Presentation slides full of marketing resources for libraries,  by Kathy Dempsey of Libraries are Essential (via Stephen’s Lighthouse).

Employment Sites Beyond BC

As you may have read in my recent email to the listserv, LTAS has shut down its ProBoards online bulletin board.  Since communication options and preferences have changed over the years it was not being used much.  Thanks to Stephen Karr for setting up and managing the board!

Going forward I plan to publicize job postings in a weekly-ish email to the LTAS listserv.  I monitor postings for BC lib. tech. & asst. jobs in various library systems (public, academic, school, health board, provincial & national government) as well as CLA, AALT, SLA, and ARMA. You can also send job postings to ltascareers at Big thanks again to Mandy Schwarz for setting everything up!

One of the great things Mandy set up was a list of employment sites with postings from other provinces.  It will live on here in this blog post. Continue reading “Employment Sites Beyond BC”


Proof of public libraries’ importance from a new study quantifying value of the Toronto Public Library (found on Stephen’s Lighthouse).

Conducted by the Martin Prosperity Institute, this is the first study of its kind in Canada … Key findings include:

  • The total economic impact of the Toronto Public Library on the city of Toronto is $1 billion.
  • For every dollar invested in Toronto Public Library, Torontonians receive $5.63 of value.
  • For those who use the library, the average value of services accessed is as much as $500.
  • On average, one open hour at any one of the library’s 98 branches generates $2,515 in benefits for the city of Toronto. The average cost of one open hour is $653, so the average benefit is almost 4 times the average cost.
  • Beyond tangible benefits outlined in the report, the library delivers value to Toronto’s communities and residents in ways that are not easily quantifiable but nonetheless support Toronto’s economy, increase its competitiveness and prosperity and contribute to the city’s livability and quality of life.

The Martin Prosperity Institute is part of the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School.  Read the full report here.
From “Current Cites October 2013“, check out this article recommended by Nancy Nyland:

Simonite, Tom. “The Decline of Wikipedia”  MIT Technology Review  116(6)(November/December 2013)(
– The title could have been “The Rise And Fall,” since the article summarizes the history of Wikipedia’s successes and problems, allowing readers who only check in occasionally on Wikipedia’s status to catch up quickly.

The British Library has uploaded one million images from 17th-19th century books to their Flickr account for public use and remixing, as reported by CBC.
Want another tool for searching newspapers?  Read this earlier Web Search Guide and Internet News post about the Google News archive.
Interested in digitizing and archiving?  Here’s another article blurb from Current Cites (December 2013, by Roy Tennant).

Miller, Larisa K. “All Text Considered: A Perspective on Mass Digitizing and Archival Processing” The American Archivist 76(2)(Fall/Winter 2013): 521-541.  (
– Archival processing has long been a procedure where holdings are described at a collection level with a “finding aid” of varying depth and detail, depending on the collection and the time available for processing. “This article,” Miller states in the abstract, “explores the idea of coupling robust collection-level descriptions to mass digitization and optical character recognition to provide full-text search of unprocessed and backlogged modern collections, bypassing archival processing and the creation of finding aids.” This is no small claim, as following this path would stand present archival practice on its head. Rather than describing the collection in summary form and perhaps digitizing some representative samples, Miller suggests allowing the digitized collection to reveal itself. Not being an archivist myself, I won’t presume to predict how the archival community will react to such an idea, but the reaction of the users of such collections would almost certainly be “Right on!”.

Personally, I like how it sounds simpler to add materials but have seen lots of imperfect OCR in my time. What do you think?
Transferable skills job alert: using your info management skills to create book indexes.  Library Juice Academy interviewed  Joanne Sprott, freelance indexer and instructor of their indexing class.
As a new semester begins, you may like these Chrome browser extensions for students from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, as well as Web Search Guide and Internet News.  Please comment if you’ve tried any of them; are they helpful?
Reports of libraries’ death have been exaggerated… at least according to this infographic based on ALA data (found on Stephen’s Lighthouse):