The Library Musings of Jaime Huaman

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Professional Development Opportunities

FREE Instructional Technology Summit

Where: Charlotte, NC

When: April 4, 2012

Who: Metrolina Library Association (


The event is free of charge and will take place from 2 – 4 PM.  The summit will cover popular free technologies that you can use to teach your patrons, such as Prezi, Screen Cast O Matic, and Google Apps for Educators. Members of the executive board will present these technologies in a casual, collegial format with ample time for questions and discussion.  Be prepared to learn how to ‘wow’ your library patrons with these cutting-edge technologies.  (Text from Email Announcement)


NASIG 27th Annual Conference

Where: Nashville, Tennessee

When: June 7-10, 2012

Who: North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) (


The North American Serials Interest Group’s 27th Annual Conference, June 7-10, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee is fast approaching, and preconference spots are going fast.  Make sure to secure your spot in one of these remaining preconference sessions today!

Early Bird registration is still open!  Early Bird ends May 4, 2012, 5 p.m. Eastern.

To register:

(Text from Email Announcement)

IASSIST 2012 conference

Where: Washington, DC

When: June 4-8, 2012

Who: International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST) (


Registration is now open for the IASSIST 2012 Conference!

IASSIST 2012 conference site:
Conference Theme: Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information
Dates: June 4th – 8th, Washington D.C. USA.

Register before May 1st to take advantage of special conference and workshops rates. Fees and other details are available at:

The theme “Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information” reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques.
Information about the papers, panels, and other events can be found

(Text from Email Announcement)


eResource and Emerging Technologies Summit

Where: Mississippi State University

When: August 3-4, 2012

Who: Mississippi State University Libraries (


Mississippi State University Libraries is dedicated to hosting top quality conference opportunities for Academic Libraries. For more than a decade the MSU Libraries has hosted the Mid-South eResource Symposium, as well as pioneering discussions about technology in libraries with the Emerging Technologies Summit. Both conferences have experienced growing popularity and attracted a national following.  Building on that success and finding common ground between the two conferences, the MSU Libraries are relaunching them this year as the MSU Libraries eResource and Emerging Technologies Summit (MSU-LEETS).


Call for Proposals

The 2012 MSU LEETS programming committee is accepting proposals for Steal-this-Idea speakers and poster sessions. The Steal-this-Idea talks will be 45 minutes to one hour in length, including time for discussion. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that share their own experiences in working with eResources and/or applying social media and emerging technologies in academic libraries. Potential topics include, but are not restricted to:



–the impact of eResources on technical services

–managing eResources (P vs E)

–ERMS implementation and use

–institutional repositories

–managing multiple URLs in an OPAC

–licensing and access issues in a consortium

–eBook acquisition and workflow


Emerging Technologies:

–tablets and/or mobile applications in an academic environment

–eBooks and e-readers

–social media applications

–cloud computing

–campus outreach

–augmented reality

–assessment strategies


Please submit 150-200 word proposals for Steal-this-Idea or poster sessions (Emerging Technologies only) by filling out the application located here: Proposals must be received by May 11th in order to be considered.

Registration begins June 4, 2011.  The cost for the two-day conference will be $80, or $50 for a single day.  Library School students will pay $50 for both days, and NASIG members will receive a 20% discount. MSU LEETS is proud to be a NASIG sponsored continuing education symposium.

(Text from Email Announcement)


Webinar Alert: Using FDsys to Navigate Federal Government Information

On Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 1:00pm EDT, join GPO as they offer an hour-long course on navigating Federal Government information using FDsys. During this session, attendees will learn about basic and advanced searching, browsing, retrieving by citation, Help tools, and working with FDsys search results. Space is limited to the first 175 registrants on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register for the webinar, point your browser to: <>. Registration is required to attend. Once registered, you will receive an email confirmation, which will include instructions for joining the webinar.

Librarian Toolkit: Prezi

So you have a presentation to do and you really want to impress the crowd with something new and creative.  Microsoft PowerPoint has become the norm for presentations and is often expected.  However, if you would like to avoid death by power point, than you should consider using Prezi.  Prezi is presentation software developed in 2009 that allows for zooming in and out. It also allows you to rotate the presentation and to move from place to place on the background image.  There is no software or subscription to buy and presentations are cloud based which makes it easy to access content from any computer that has an internet connection.

I first saw Prezi used by a coworker who was presenting at the North Carolina Library Association’s biennial conference.  I was amazed by the fluidity and creativity of the program and have become a huge fan of Prezi.

A screen shot of my prezi background.

About a week ago, I got a chance to use Prezi for the first time during a presentation.  I did a presentation about Government Information in an Academic Environment (see it here:  Being new to Prezi I decided to modify a template.  I watched all the tutorials that are offered on Prezi’s website; however, I found the best way to learn the product is to actually make a Prezi. The controls are fairly easy to use, but it does take some time to learn how to use them properly.

There are some good features and bad features of Prezi.  For example, they offer a number of templates that you can modify and also numerous examples of other presentations.  All these templates and examples come from users who have a free account.  While Prezi is free to use it also requires you share all of your presentations with others.  The only way to stop this is to pay for a membership.  One great feature of Prezi is that you can take your old PowerPoint files and make them into a Prezi presentation.  So if you have a great presentation that you want to convert to Prezi it is really easy to do.  Another item to keep in mind is how you set up your presentation and the speed can make people motion sick.  So you really have to be conscience of how your presentation will affect the viewer, something you didn’t have to consider when using power point.

Overall Prezi presentations are creative and innovative.  If you really want to impress your audience then this may be one way to do it as Prezi is still relatively unknown.  Anyone who uses Prezi to present will surely have questions about how it works. The bad news is that your presentation will be on the internet for anyone to see unless you pay for a membership.  Also, Prezi can take a bit longer to learn as its navigation system is rather unique.   However, any investment in creating a Prezi will surely be returned by the enthusiasm of your audience after seeing your presentation.

Below you will find links of interest:


Library related Prezis:

Resume related Prezis:

YouTube video of how to create a Prezi:



Librarian Toolkit: doPDF

The Librarian Toolkit is a new series to the blog where I will highlight new and emerging tools that can be used by librarians.

Have you ever wanted to save a website or screen as a pdf? DoPDF is an exceptional tool when you are trying to make webpages or screens into a PDF that can be saved, emailed, or printed.  It’s important to note, that doPDF does not work with multimedia files. In other words, you can’t make a PDF of a video using doPDF.

Basically the way doPDF works is that you install the program on your computer and it acts like a printer.  Once you find a page you want to make a PDF from, you simply hit control and p.  The printer box will come up and you choose doPDF.  This creates a pdf version of the page your looking at. For more detailed instructions check out the step by step directions on NewbieMania.

As a librarian, I use this program often.  I have a need to take web based newsletters and create PDF versions.  This program allows me to make a PDF from each page of the newsletter.  Another use of this program is to create PDFs of job announcements.  I find that job announcements normally are removed from the internet once a position’s closing date has passed.  Creating a PDF of the job announcement allows me to save it with my resume and other things I send when applying for a job.   That way if I am called for an interview, I have a precise copy of the job announcement at the time I applied.  It also makes it possible to send copies of the job announcement to your references when you get an interview.  Using doPDF is a better option then just printing out job announcements because

To download the program click here:

Tips to Job Seekers: Notes from Panel Discussions

In 2011, I had the opportunity to listen to two panels that provided tips to job seekers and I am taking this opportunity to share what I learned.  I attended CareerWise 2011, a workshop for library professionals, sponsored by the North Carolina chapter of the Special Libraries Association, the North Carolina Library Association Round Table for Ethnic Minority Concerns (REMCo), and the North Carolina Library Association Reference & Adult Services Section (RASS).  In addition to providing information on how to use your social media profiles in your job search and how to dress for success, there was a panel knowledgeable in library hiring.  Panelists included Tiffany Allen, UNC Libraries, Mariel Christian, RTI International and Kim Hailey, City of Greensboro Public Libraries.  At the North Carolina Library Association 59th Biennial Conference, I attended Tips and Tricks for Job Seekers a panel discussion featuring library professionals from special, academic, and public libraries.

In this blog post, I will share with readers what I learned about the hiring process.  While I have done my best to take notes at the time of the event, not everything may be completely accurate, as I may have misunderstood or my notes may be wrong.  In any case, the following blog reflects what I took away from these events.

Even though the two events had different panelists, there seemed to be consensus on some ideas. Panelists described the hiring differences in academic, public and special libraries and provided advice for resumes, cover letters, and interviews.   Panelists explained what they expected in applications and what things annoyed them.  For instance, panelists described being turned off by grammatical errors; small font, unprofessional email address, and ring back tones on cell phones.   They highly recommended that an applicant customize cover letters and resumes to jobs they are applying for. Resumes and cover letters should be customized to reflect the skills and knowledge that are described in the job announcement and they also recommended using the same vocabulary in your cover letter as what was used in the job announcement.

Issues of underemployment and unemployment were hot topics during these panel sessions.  The experts were sympathetic to people who lost their jobs or were unable to find professional positions; however, they recommended that people look for other ways to gain skills.  Volunteer work was discussed as a great way to gain experience in the type of library you are interested in.   They also recommended having some relevant experience to the position you are applying for or your application will go to the bottom of the pack.  For example, if you apply for a public library position it would be good to have some experience in libraries.

During one of the panel sessions, an audience member questioned the panel about underemployment.  The audience member was in the position where her full time position became paraprofessional, but she was offered a part time professional position.  She asked if staying in the paraprofessional position would look bad to search committees if she had a MLS and worked as a paraprofessional.  The panel explained that given the current economic condition that they understood short stints as a paraprofessional; however, if someone with an MLS stayed for a long time in a paraprofessional position then the committee would see this as a negative.  The panel recommended that the audience member take the part time paraprofessional position as opposed to staying in the full time paraprofessional position.

Below I have summarized some of the points talked about during the two sessions:

Cover Letters and Resume Tips

  • Limit cover letters to 1 page for special libraries, 1- 1.5 pages for public libraries, and 1-4 pages for academic libraries.
  • Customize each cover letter and resume to the job (i.e. if the job calls for CONTENTdm experience make sure your cover letter and resume state that). Make sure you parallel your skills to the skills called for.
  • Do not address cover letters “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam”.   If the advertisement doesn’t specify a contact then address it to the department manager.  This shows your researching the library.
  • Make the reader want to read your cover letter.  Keep it upbeat and interesting.
  • State where you saw the job advertisement.
  • Recruiters often like to be asked for an interview and to be thanked for their time and consideration in cover letters.
  • Remember your cover letter will be evaluated for writing skills.  Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes.
  • If you don’t include your references in your application then put “references available on request” at the bottom of your resume. (This typically only applies to special libraries)
  • Do not fold your resume or print it on colored paper.
  • Save cover letters and resumes as PDFs or formatting can be lost or changed accidently.
  • For public and special libraries it is not necessary to put graduation years.  Academic libraries want graduation dates to ensure candidates meet requirements.
  • Put volunteer experience on your resume.
  • Due to the nature of the economy if you don’t have direct experience your application may go to the bottom of the applicant pool.
  • If your state has public library certificates than get it.  You never know when you may need it.
  • If you have an online professional presence than put it on your resume/cover letter. This shows you stay current.  Social media sites will most likely be checked by the search committee.

Interviewing Tips-

  • You may be asked about weaknesses or interpersonal conflicts make sure you can provide an answer.  It looks bad to the search committee if you cannot answer these questions.
  • Prepare for STAR type questions.
  • During an interview suites are not required, but formal wear and comfortable shoes are a must.
  • You may want to conduct site visits of the library before the interview just to become familiar with the library.
  • In telephone interviews, make sure that the interview does not go longer than the slotted time.  (Keep your answers short and ask fewer questions if you run out of time)
  • Remember if you’re on an academic interview then you are being interviewed all day including lunch and breaks.  If smoke than you might want to use a patch as someone on the committee may be sensitive to the smells of tobacco. Limit your use of perfumes for the same reason.
  • Make sure that you have questions about the position and demonstrate your knowledge of the library and organization.  Remember you are interviewing your potential employer to see if the position is a good fit for you.
  • Make sure to read the job announcement before going on the interview and do research on the library and community
  • Have a response to why you’re interested in the job.  You might be surprised at how many people are unable to answer this very basic question.
  • Talk about your accomplishments and have the numbers.  For example, if you eliminated a cataloging backlog than make sure you know how big the backlog was.   Numbers provide a better understanding of your accomplishments.
  • Be polite no matter the income.  The library community is fairly small and you don’t want to get a reputation for being rude.
  • Make sure to send hand written thank you notes to all interviewers. Email thank you notes are acceptable for phone interviews.   If there were many interviewers than it is acceptable to send one thank you note where you ask the recipient to thank the rest of the panel.  Thank you notes let the committee know you are still interested in the position.  Notes/emails should be sent in less than 24 hours after the interview.  If there were any concerns the committee brought up about you filling the position or if you feel you answered a question poorly, than you can address that in your thank you note.

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