Thursday, September 25, 2008

College reviewing service to find the academic library of your dreams

If you're a footloose job seeker looking for work in an academic library, you could really go to any community that you want--provided that they are hiring. And you can use a college reviewing service to do it.

There are the mainstays: the Best Colleges from the US News and World Report, the Princeton Review Best Colleges, the Peterson's Undergraduate College Search--which is one of the few that has information on community colleges--or the new college reviewing site,, that solicits comments from real students about what campus life is like. You can also try Epinions to find "customer reviews" of colleges and universities. You can combine your search with a scan through the Chronicle of Higher Education's Almanac (not all free), and check out the job postings at the same time--and you should be reading the Chronicle if you see yourself working at an academic institution in the US.

Once you have selected some of the colleges or universities that you are interested in, see if they have an RSS feed for employment--make sure this feed covers library positions, as well as any other administrative positions that you are interested in--and make your own Yahoo! Pipe or Rollyo search engine so you can get an updated listing. You can also pull the feeds into your RSS reader, but I thought making your own search engine just makes you seem so savvy.

Now keep in mind that these services and sites are talking about student life, but you can still get valuable information about the work environment, where the college is situated and what it looks like. If the entry really blows your mind, you can put in the name of the city--or local suburbs or towns located nearby--and start contacting the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Center, to get any publications or resources that they have about their city. The more you know about a community, the more you will have to say at the interview when they try to find out how much research you have done in regards to the campus community. You won't sound like a local, but you won't sound like you're clueless either. You can also nix communities from your list if you find out the cost of living is too high, or if there isn't any work for your partner or if you find out a library is closing.

A little bit more research than throwing a dart at the map, but if you don't like to look for stuff, aren't you in the wrong career?


Scott said...

Just a comment on the picture: Trinity College Library! Visited in Feb this year. I always had a hard time imagining what heaven looked like; until I walked into The Long Room! The order, the age, the book binding, the narrow ladders, the pale light filtering in. The perfect place.

bookish37 said...

you must be a librarian if your idea of heaven is full of books...or a writer.

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