The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit: Finding Success on the Job Hunt and in Your First Job

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Academic libraries are dedicated to supporting the academic pursuits of the students, faculty, and staff of their parent higher-education institutions. This work comes with unique employment statuses, reporting structures, and positions. How do you decide if this is the right career path for you, determine which kind of academic environment you might be most interested in, and develop the skills, credentials, and areas of knowledge commonly required of academic librarians?

The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit is a thorough handbook designed to guide you from library school through your first several years as an academic librarian. It can help you apply for your first position, find your bearings in your new job, establish yourself in the profession through scholarship and service, and transition to your next position. In addition, you will add important skills to your professional toolkit: advocating for yourself and your ideas, writing for publication, teaching effectively, connecting with faculty and students, and building your professional brand.

The academic library profession is an immensely rewarding one. You can play a crucial role in students’ journey to adulthood and independence by arming them with critical thinking skills, earn the effusive gratitude of faculty for successfully tackling their thorny research problems, safeguard rare and fascinating items for posterity, and much more. Whether you are a library school student deliberating career options, an academic library paraprofessional wishing to understand the expectations of professional positions, or a new librarian seeking to excel in your first professional position, The Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit is for you.

Table of Contents
Your Toolkit

Megan Hodge, editor

Part One. What is Academic Librarianship?

Chapter 1. An Introduction to Academic Librarianship
Jennie E. Callas

Part Two. Landing a Position

Chapter 2. Making Yourself Marketable for Academic Librarian Positions
Karen Sobel

Chapter 3. The Academic Job Search
Pixey Anne Mosley

Chapter 4. Troubleshooting the Job Search
Rebecca Hodson, Madison Sullivan, and Kristina Williams

Part Three. Working within the Academy

Chapter 5. You’re Hired! Now What? Positioning Yourself for Success in a New Job
Zara T. Wilkinson

Chapter 6. Liaison Librarianship
John Glover

Chapter 7. A Primer for New Teachers
Candice Benjes-Small

Chapter 8. Academic Librarian Roles Beyond Public Services
Megan Hodge

Job 1. Digital Scholarship Librarian
Amanda Koziura

Job 2. Academic Data Librarian
Margaret Henderson

Job 3. Scholarly Communications Librarian
John Edward Martin

Job 4. Special Collections and Archives Librarian
Amanda Pellerin and Mandi D. Johnson

Job 5. Preservation Librarian
Fletcher Durant and Bonnie Smith

Part Four. Establishing Yourself within the Profession

Chapter 9. Networking and Conferences
Arianne Hartsell-Gundy

Chapter 10. Negotiating, Persuading, and Influencing: Putting Your Ideas to Work
Rebecca Miller Waltz

Chapter 11. A Rhetorical Approach to Writing for Publication
Mary Snyder Broussard

Chapter 12. Plan Your Impact: Stacking Your Skills to Make Yourself Irreplaceable
Kiyomi D. Deards and Leo S. Lo

Part Five. Preparing for Your Next Position

Chapter 13. Making the Most of and Moving Beyond Your First Professional Position: Strategies for Success
Sarah Hare and Ali Versluis

About the Contributors

Megan Hodge

Megan Hodge is Assistant Head for Teaching & Learning at Virginia Commonwealth University. She graduated with her MSLS from the University of North Texas in 2010 and has dedicated much of her professional service and scholarship to the professional development of new librarians. She has been elected to several leadership positions in the American Library Association’s New Members Round Table, including serving as president in 2014-2015. In 2012, Megan co-founded the New Members Round Table Forum for the Virginia Library Association with Future Academic Librarian’s Toolkit contributor Rebecca Miller Waltz, for which she was awarded the Virginia Library Association’s Presidential Citation, and served as the forum’s first chair. Megan is also a Councilor-at-Large for the American Library Association (ALA); a doctoral student in educational research, assessment, and evaluation; and a 2011 alumna of the ALA Emerging Leaders program.