Working for the Feds

So, after an extended hiatus, I’m ready to start contributing to this blog again. Having finished the 23 Things program, my focus now switches to general library issues and my own professional development. To kick things off, I’m attending the ALA conference in Anaheim this weekend. It’s a big conference with over 10,000 librarians coming in from all over the country and the world. Closest thing I’ve been to that approximates those kinds of numbers is the APSA (American Political Science Association) conference I went to back in 1996 (I think), but that was more like half that number.

Anyway, I’m starting the conference by attending an all day workshop on careers in federal libraries. My focus from the start has always been academic librarianship, but I do want to keep my options open, so I figured this session couldn’t hurt. The big take-away from the session so far (we’re in the lunch break) is to be patient with the whole application process. Very bureaucratic and very slow. It’s the federal government; did anyone expect anything else? What else? Was interested to learn that librarians working for the foreign service (aka Information Resource Officers) do not have to take the foreign service exam, as they enter the foreign service as so-called “specialists” rather than “generalists”. But, like other foreign service officers, they are expected to rotate from post to post around the world every few years. Exciting if you don’t have kids. Not so exciting if you do.

Couple of job-hunting pointers: (search librarians, technical information specialist, records management; series# 1410, 1411, 1412, 2210) (Foreign Service/State Dept. jobs)

Check agency specific websites

Check with local HR offices of federal agencies; some jobs posted locally, not in national websites. (list of internships at federal libraries)

Okay, that’s all for now. The rest of the day looks to be devoted to resume review and other job-hunting advice. Later, I’ll check out some the conference intro sessions, the general one (NMRT), the techies (LITA), and reference (RUSA).


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