Saturday, June 20, 2009

Poster child

The First Librarian blog was a project that I started when I was invited to speak at a class about job search skills for librarians. The blog has held on to that focus, and I still write posts about librarians looking for work, but, just like the larger economic picture always affects the individual, the economy and the labor market has crept into this blog.

I also find myself writing sometimes about business and career books, which isn't a surprise because that is the type of library that I work in. I also find it difficult to some times find review sources for career books--and this means that there is a lot of crap on the ground. Or telling the same tired story over and over again to clients: oh, the best career book is What Color is your Parachute? Have you ever read, What Color is Your Parachute? And that is not to say that What Color is Your Parachute? is a bad book, just that it has become a cliche for people who don't know about other resources to always suggest that book. It's like picking a mystery novel for someone and saying, after Agatha Christie don't bother. You might even believe that, but it just reveals an ignorance of individual reading tastes. When it comes to career books, there are individual needs that are greater than a standard sized career book.

And then there is absolutely useless tripe like Don't Use a Resume, Send a Qualifications Brief which we keep in the library for comparison purposes and actually have a sticker on that says, don't follow the advice in this book, come to the desk and see a grown up for guidance. We can't leave it without the sticker because we don't want people who need to pay the rent to remain unemployed--but we also like to use it as a tool to show what not to do.

There are also career books that have an overtly Christian viewpoint, such as Suddenly Unemployed, which even gives guidance about workplace behavior or behavior when your laid off that includes scriptural references. That book really won't cut it for your clients who don't share that view of heaven. But there aren't that many books out there that deal with unemployment--yet, though there are more coming out all the time.

What this post is indicating is not that the blog will vanish, but just that I want to take a wider view of the world of careers and libraries. So I will still post about library career information and work search tools, but I am also going to post about the economy, especially when it affects the labor market, and include some career book reviews.

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