So I spent a VERY hot Saturday trekking around DC at my start to the SLA conference. First I went to the Convention Center to get my badge – it’s a big place and there is another convention there too. When I was there at 10:45 there weren’t very many librarians yet, but there were a few that I saw. Then I began a trek to Metro Center to get a SmartTrip card – very useful for the Metro! Well when there is no one around to answer your questions because it is aSaturday this can take ka little longer than you anticipated. On top of all that the Metro shut down one stop shy of Capitol South so I ended up walking about 3/4 mile to the LOC Madison Building for the How to Become a Federal Librarian session. Because I was late all of the resume review slots were already full when I got there. BIG SLA CONFERENCE TIP: wear your sneakers, bring your other shoes – there’s a lot of walking in DC and a block here isn’t like a block in other places!
So this session ran for about four and a half hours and consisted of three presentations and about an hour of networking time. The first
presentation was from Michele Masias and Nardia Bennett of the DOJ and it was on how to look for and apply for a federal library job. This session covered information from searching to resume writing, KSAs to interviewing. Some of the big tips that I was able to pull out of this is that you should always have a current copy of your resume whether or not you are job hunting – it helps you to document all of the important things that you do. Also have other folks look over your resume and do mock interviews – they help! They talked about how to read the job postings and where to find them (and save copies of your resume): the various agencies and the USAJOBS website. They also stressed the importance of making sure that you have supported your claims with information on your resume and that you can back this up with specific information.
The second presentation was by Lisa Boyd from NLM. She talked about the path she took to becoming a federal librarian – including a number of fellowship/leadership programs available especially those through NLM. She also talked a lot about what goes on at the NLM and the different opportunities that might exist for someone who is interested in this field.
The final presentation was by Nancy Faget on the Careers in Federal Libraries Google Group. She talked about the different ways that students and librarians can get involved with FLICC as well as by benefiting from mentor/mentee relationships, locating internships/fellowships and having a line of communication with others sharing your interests. I can vouch for networking through FLICC – Nancy helped me to find a job posting that seemed really good for me – now I’m just crossing my fingers that I get further in the selection process:)
All three sessions were really good. Also of note: FLICC/FEDLINK (the sponsor of this session) will be holding a job fair on August 26, 2009. I’ll post more information on this as I get it! I had a pleasant if hot walking back to Union Station past the US Capitol Building and the Supreme Court. I’m now back in airconditioning with a dog on my foot and cat stalking the bugs outside… I think…