Q: How easy is it to move between different types of libraries?

Q: How easy is it to move between different types of libraries?

Q: How easy is it to move between different types of libraries? I’m a full-time elementary school librarian and an adjunct reference librarian at a community college. I’m moving May and I’d really like to try for an academic library, but I’m nervous that my experience won’t align with minimum qualifications for academic librarians.

CNW: Since you have already worked in an academic library as an adjunct, and you already have full-time experience as a librarian, I think you would be an appealing candidate for many academic librarian roles. The key in your case will be to articulate how your skills align with the minimum qualifications. For example, if you acquired Skill X in a setting other than an academic library, state clearly and simply why this is relevant in your cover letter. Focus on transferable skills more than where you gained the experience.

If you haven’t already been applying for jobs in the new location, start now. Academic libraries can take months to respond to job applicants. Some have a hiring “season” in the early part of the year. Those jobs may already be well into the interview process, so pay attention to any deadlines you see posted in the job descriptions. The only thing you will accomplish by applying to jobs that are past the deadlines is to waste your time. Also keep in mind that the academic library market is competitive, so it may take you some time to find a good opportunity. It might be a good idea to keep an eye on the school and public library job markets in case the academic route doesn’t work out.

Be patient and confident in your skills and experience, and you should be able to find work in your preferred field with time.

Q: Any hints for a husband and wife seeking to relocate together to another academic institution?

Q: Any hints for a husband and wife seeking to relocate together to another academic institution?

Q: Any hints for a husband and wife seeking to relocate together to another academic institution? Can it be done? (He’s in archives/special collections, I’m currently in resource sharing, but have cataloging experience and have worked in public libraries in various capacities. Both of us have an MLS.) If either of us were a finalist for a position somewhere, would it be proper to inquire about job possibilities for the other spouse?

SM: Dear Librarian + Spouse,

The good news is that yes, it is possible, and even somewhat common in higher education for institutions to hire spouses. This is usually called dual-career hiring. It is fortunate that both of you are seeking academic positions.

My advice is for the two of you to apply for positions, ones that you are qualified for and truly want. Don’t concern yourselves at this point about whether or not a particular institution will also hire a spouse. Before you go for an interview, do your research into dual career resources at the university or institution. Gather all the information you can on it, and contact the correct people at the institution, if needed, to ask questions. Keep in mind that this is all moot until you actually get a job offer.

At the interview stage, do not mention to the search committee that your spouse is also looking for a job at the same institution. The search committee cannot legally ask you about marital status and by bringing it to their attention you could put the committee at risk of investigation if you were not hired. If your spouse applies for a job at the same library, chances are the search committee already knows this, but still do not mention it. Once you get a job offer, then you can bring it to the attention of the library director, or human resources (or the person who formally offers you the position), and ask what kind of program they have in place for spousal hiring. Some institutions will have well-defined programs and others will not. After you have been offered the job, it is your right to negotiate terms and your right to ask for time to consider what they have to offer.

As you’ve probably already figured out, you and your spouse need to decide if securing jobs for the two of you is a deal breaker. Will you only take a job if they have one for your spouse? What factors (e.g., your dream job, dream location, salary, benefits, etc.) will you need to consider when making this important decision?

I know several faculty members (including a few librarians) whose spouses were hired along with them (not all were faculty positions). In an ideal world, if the university/library/search committee really wants you then it would be in their best interest to find a job for your spouse. But, in reality, finding jobs for the two of you at the same institution, or even in the same city, can be a complicated and prolonged process. Best of luck to you both.

Here are some informational sites and resources from higher education institutions on dual-career hiring:

Realities of Dual Careers
Inside Higher Ed

Dual Career Academics
Stanford University

Lessons of a Dual Hire by Rebecca Manderlay
Chronicle of Higher Education, August 19, 2009

The Dual Career Network
The University of Iowa

Dual Career FAQs
University of Virginia

Faculty Spousal and Partner Hiring Assistance Program
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Spouse/Partner Employment: Dual Career Services
The University of Minnesota

Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium