Tuesday, March 20, 2007

UCLA trip - part IV

My darling daughter and I arrived at LAX, right on time. We got our rental car and hit the 405. Even in the carpool lane, we were in stop and go traffic until we exited on Santa Monica Blvd. Ugh. There were more cars out on the road than we see in a normal week in Eugene.

We made it just to UCLA's GSE&IS building just in time to tell Cindy Mediavilla's Portfolio class (IS 400) that we have jobs open in Eugene, Oregon and we'd love to tell them all about it. It was Wednesday of week 10. Everyone seemed much more interested in getting their papers (and portfolios) finished.

We visited with staff and students from the department for a bit, before heading over to Moore Hall and the Information Architecture (IS 279) class. We especially wanted them to know about the positions in the Metadata department. The instructor, a gracious and vivacious Lynn Boyden, gave us a few minutes to tell everyone about the positions, hand out our sheet with all of the jobs listed and answer hard questions about salary.

That night we networked* with some LA area librarians at one of Westwood's Persian restaurants.

The next morning, we braved the Sunset traffic and foggy morning to say hello to the students in Anne Gilliland's (Chair of the IS department) Archives class (IS 431). Z was a big hit at 9am, drawing a room full of "ohhhhs!"

Since our panel discussion was moved from the lunch hour to 1:30pm, we hung out in the department's Commons room. Where students congregate and eat lunch. I set up handouts with the job announcements and tried to talk to everyone who happened to walk in. Pity them. We got to see Melanee again and meet some wonderful folks.

The panel was held upstairs in the new lounge area. We had about 14 students attend in total. The librarians on the panel talked about finding our job, interviewing for jobs, what to look for, what not to do and I talked about the things I like about being a librarian at the U of O.

I was charged with finding out what was important to people who are graduating from library school. The students at UCLA mentioned:
  • a supportive and open management staff
  • opportunity to implement outreach strategies and
  • many other things we've learned in library school
  • a city or town that is diverse - sexual orientation, ethnically, racially
  • a city or town with things to do, basically for single young professionals
  • a place that fosters creativity and professional development
  • money - both salaries for paying off loans and support for conferences. And, if not money for conferences, time off to attend them.
  • ongoing ability to take classes (time from work for this and/or faculty discounts)
  • a chance to make a difference
  • have a sabbatical
  • mentoring (more formal than informal)
  • room for cross training and variety
[Props to Melanee and friends for at least the 1st four.]

In the end, I talked to about 6 people who seemed pretty serious about applying for at least one of the jobs. I met with several of them 1 on 1 and they asked me more detailed questions.

Dr. Mediavilla raved about the quality of this year's class. She said we'd be lucky to get any of them. After meeting with them over the course of these 2 days, I would agree.

*It was great seeing our library school friends, who are all real live grown up librarian types, and Miz SJ. formerly of Eugene, who we still miss.

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