Magazine article Information Today

Back in the Saddle. (Internet Waves)

Magazine article Information Today

Back in the Saddle. (Internet Waves)

Article excerpt

Two interesting events have occurred in my life since my column last appeared in the pages of Information Today. I have gone from unemployed to employed, and I have moved from Clearwater, Fin., to Nashville, Tenn., where I've joined the staff at Vanderbilt University's Walker Library. I'll try to relate some of the more useful aspects of this professional odyssey, which may help someone else who is currently job-hunting in the library world.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know that I used to be the Web guide manager for Business 2.0 (, a newer magazine in Time, Inc.'s Fortune Group. And if you've paid the least bit of attention to the dismal economic news, you know media has fallen on hard times due mainly to an advertising slowdown. So being laid off last June, along with most of the Web team, was not a shock.

Having already witnessed previous rounds of layoffs and budget cutbacks, I'd been stashing extra money away for at least half a year. If you're working for an organization that is experiencing financial difficulties, you need to do this so you don't end up in the position of having to take the first job that comes your way, whether or not it's a good fit. This is especially important right now, when most of the economy is ailing and lots of white collar and professional folks are out of work because entire categories of jobs have evaporated.

In Florida, you can apply for unemployment compensation online, sparing you the aggravation/indignity of having to truck down to the unemployment office and confront the bureaucracy face to face. This may be true in your state, too. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Division, has a U.S. map with direct links to state "workforce" offices at

If you've lost your health insurance or end up with a COBRA ( payment that is astronomical, you may want to try searching for a more affordable policy at (http// Opting for a higher deductible and eschewing unnecessary coverage (e.g., maternity benefits, if you don't need them) can produce significant savings.

How hard is it to find a job as a librarian or information professional these days? It depends on what you have to offer and how flexible you are as to location and salary. More experience is not always a good thing; employers may look at your resume and decide that you are "too expensive." Especially now, when budgets are tight, someone inexperienced and "cheap" may be more desirable than a seasoned professional who can hit the ground running but who can't or won't work for rock-bottom wages.

If you are not willing or able to relocate, it may be quite difficult to find a suitable professional library position. Frankly, I didn't want to move from the Tampa Bay area, where I'd lived for more than 20 years. But when I realized that suitable jobs for someone at my experience level simply did not exist locally, I decided to expand my search to the entire southeastern U.S. I also decided to consider opportunities in academic libraries.

The Chronicle of Higher Education's job listings ( are a good source of academic library position announcements. …

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