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Professional Development Plan June 29, 2011

Overview
Aside from early jobs in office management, and two stints as a full-time student, becoming a librarian is a third career for me after having (1) spent nine years in corporate America and (2) homeschooled three children for 18 years. I would like to be in this profession for 15-20 years as a full-time, and later, part-time employee. To establish connections in a broad spectrum of librarianship and archives on both the national and local levels, I have joined ALA, ACRL, CJCLS, CLS, RUSA, ALCTS, GLA, SAA and SGA. I attended a joint Georgia/South Carolina Society of Archivists convention in Augusta, GA last fall, enrolled as a virtual conference participant this springs ACRL 2011 in Philadelphia, and attended the annual ALA in New Orleans this summer. Based on reasoned advice, experience, personal preferences, and what I can offer the profession, I think my highest and best use would be in academic reference with a focus on adults who are returning to college to further their education. Specializing in business reference is an option as I already have an MBA. Equally appealing (but less likely) is reference and research in an archive. Relocation, preferably in the southeast, is a given. Employment outlook for the profession suggests a six-month job search is not uncommon. Targeting opportunities to match my skills and preferences will focus on community and technical colleges, and for-profit universities which have both on-campus and distance adult learners. At ALA I met members of a relatively new Discussion Group, Librarianship in For-

2 Profit Educational Institutions, and sat in on one of their sessions. To brush up on my business knowledge I enrolled in a Business 101 Reference pre-conference at ALA, and plan to join BRASS.

Job Search Timeline

Continue to enroll in online webinars for continuing education; at least one per week during job search, and continuing after employment MLIS Graduation

{2011} July

August

September

October

November

December

Look for full-time employment (as well as temporary employment and online opportunities), read current publications and blogs, monitor and contribute to job posting sites, become involved in ALA group(s), continue to volunteer at local college library and archives

Continuing Education
Maintaining a Georgia library certification requires the biennial completion of ten hours of approved continuing education. Over the past 18 months I have achieved more than 36 hours of continuing education credits by attending live and archived webinars sponsored by ALA, ACRL, ALCTS, Web Junction, GPLS, Library Journal, Booklist Online, as well as several publisher programs (e.g., Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Nolo, Penguin, Harper-Collins, Severn House, Macmillan, Workman, Timer Press, Algonquin, Storey, Artisan, and Random House).

3 After graduation I plan to continue attending seminars and workshops offered by ALA in areas that I missed during the MLIS program (e.g., collection development, government documents), and stay abreast of technology and upcoming cataloging and classification changes. At ALA I was able to persuade two vendors to give me free trial subscriptions to their programs so that I can learn their systems and include that knowledge as a technical asset on my resume (LibGuides and Business Decision).

Approaching Potential Employers


The first step in the job search process is to get in touch with professional and personal contacts to update them on my status, let them know what goals I have in mind, and to see whether they would be willing to serve as references. In addition to applying for job postings, my strategy is to create a list of all community colleges and for-profit institutions in the southeast, narrow the choices down to about 20, research mission statements, strategic plans and upcoming changes to their institutions, and contact a decision-maker with information about how my skills and background might help their organization.

Plan for the future


As a new librarian I would anticipate a 24 month orientation period to get used to how the institution works, get plugged into formal and informal networks, and participate in additional training required by the institution. Advancement opportunities will most likely open up through attrition or retirement; I will be a promotable employee in anticipation of these events, and maintain an awareness of chances for battlefield promotions.

Career Timeline

Full-time position; training and orientation Promotion to supervisor

Manager
Promotion to department manager

Part-time job

0-2 Years

3-5 Years

6 - 10 Years

11 - 15 Years

16 - 20 Years