2021 WLA Library Career Lab

Logo for 2021 WLA Library Career Lab: a blue beaker set on a light blue and coral-colored backgroundAre you looking for...

  • An introduction to a career in libraries?
  • A career reset?
  • Professional development ideas or guidance?

The 2021 WLA Library Career Lab is here for you! This virtual, month-long program will feature resume review, interview “speed dating,” various information sessions, panel discussions, and more.

Register here

Registration is free for WLA members and $45 for non-members. All sessions, with the exception of "Interview 'Speed Dating,'" will be recorded and be made available to registrants.

The "Why Work in Libraries?" panel is free to ALL, regardless of membership. If you plan to attend that session only, please use this form to register.

Get answers to your questions around library trends, find out what it’s like to work at different library types, and network with library professionals. Explore our Schedule of Events, below! Contact the WLA Office if you have any questions.


 Schedule of Events

Asynchronous


Résumé & Cover Letter Review

Get your résumé, CV, and/or cover letter reviewed by an expert! Participants will be asked to submit documents by May 1 to allow the reviewer time to prepare their feedback asynchronously.

Monday, May 3 | 12-1 p.m.


Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Every Level of Your Library

To create a culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at your library, staff at every level need to feel empowered to use their voices. As a manager or director, how does your leadership support marginalized patrons and staff? As staff, how can you use your voice to drive change? How can everyone work to create an open dialogue? Join us for a panel discussion about real ways you can incorporate EDI into your work. There will be time for audience questions, which can be submitted anonymously in advance.

  • Danielle Miller, Director, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library (Moderator)
  • Angi Anderson, Library Paraprofessional (Reserves and Interlibrary Loan), Seattle Central College
  • Dominica Myers, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, King County Library System
  • Jessica Koshi-Lum, Associate Dean of the Library, Renton Technical College
  • Nic Figley, Public Service Assistant, King County Library System
Tuesday, May 5 | 12-1 p.m.


So You Want to Work in Academic Libraries?

What is it really like to work in an academic library? A panel of academic library professionals is here to answer all your burning questions. Hear about jobs in university, community college, and research libraries, and learn how to land those jobs. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked live.

  • Ben Tucker, Digital Projects & Outreach Librarian, University of Puget Sound
  • Caitlin Bagley, Instruction Librarian, Gonzaga University
  • Elena Maans-Lorincz, Outreach Librarian, Bellevue College
  • Laura Dimmit Smyth, Research & Instruction / Fine Arts & Cultural Studies Librarian, UW Bothell
  • Additional panelists TBA
Friday, May 7 | 12-1:30 p.m.


More than a Résumé Line: Advancing Your Career Through an Association

Whether or not you’re a member of a professional association, you probably know the sales pitch. National and local library associations can provide excellent professional development, resources, and networks. But how can your involvement in your association become more than a line on your résumé? Hear from panelists who have used their involvement in various associations to advance their careers. How can you find community and build a network, and how can you use those connections to find your next job? What is it like to get involved in association leadership? How can you get the most out of your investment of member dues? Panelists will also discuss some of the local and national associations they have been a part of. There will be time for audience questions, which can be submitted anonymously in advance.

  • Ahniwa Ferrari, Associate Dean of Library Operations, The Evergreen State College; Vice President/President-Elect 2021, WLA; Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) (Moderator)
  • Alycia Ensminger, Assistant Manager, Washington Talking Book and Braille Library; Student Relations, Special Library Association (SLA) Pacific Northwest Chapter; Board Director, WLA
  • Hillary Marshall, Library Media Specialist, Washougal School District; School Library Division Past Chair, WLA; American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
  • Rick Stoddart, Library Assessment and Strategic Communications Coordinator, University of Oregon; Past President, Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA)
  • Steven Bailey, Librarian Services Manager, King County Library System; ALA Councilor, WLA
  • Additional panelists TBA
Monday, May 10 | 12-1 p.m.


Taking Care of Yourself at Work

Self care. Imposter syndrome. Vocational awe. Burnout. Compassion fatigue. Low morale. These buzzwords might seem abstract, but they have a real impact on our work lives and personal well-being. What do you do when you feel yourself getting mentally, emotionally, or physically burnt out? Hear strategies for self-care, managing stress, looking out for your own well-being, and advocating for yourself at work.

  • Elizabeth Iaukea, Workforce Development Librarian, Washington State Library (moderator)
  • Crystal Alberthal, Head of Technical Services, Senior Assistant Librarian, Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington
  • Debra Westwood, Consultant, Primary Source; Retired Librarian, King County Library System
  • Kris Barnes, Customer Service Manager, Spokane County Library District
Wednesday, May 12 | 12-1 p.m.


So You Want to Work in Public Libraries?

What is it really like to work in a public library? A panel of public library professionals is here to answer all your burning questions. Hear about the different jobs in public libraries, from page to director, and learn how to land those jobs. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked live.

  • Rickey Barnett, Teen & Adult Librarian, Sno-Isle Libraries (Moderator)
  • Jannah Minnix, Librarian, Sno-Isle Libraries
  • Additional panelists TBA
Saturday, May 15 | 12-1 p.m.


Why Work in Libraries?

This Library Career Lab event is FREE for all. When you picture a library, do you think of a warehouse of books with a shushing librarian? You may not know that libraries offer dynamic work environments, with jobs to suit your background, interests, and skills, whatever they are. Are you good at research or making sense of data? Helping people find answers? Are you a tech whisperer or a natural teacher? Interested in planning events, preserving history and records, or connecting with under-served communities? Whether you’re a student, career changer, or a current library professional, this panel will help you envision your library career. You’ll learn about the different types of libraries-and the wide variety of jobs within them.

  • Nancy Garrett, Teen Services Librarian, Seattle Public Library (Moderator)
  • Sara Peté, Community Outreach Librarian, Washington State Library
  • TuesD Chambers, Teacher Librarian, Seattle Public Schools
  • Brianna Hoffman, Executive Director, WLA; Project Coordinator, WebJunction
  • Additional panelists TBA
Monday, May 17 | 4-5 p.m.


Library School 101

Whether you’re enrolled as a current student, starting this fall, or on the fence about your next career move, this panel will help answer your library school questions. What kinds of programs are out there, and how do you select one? How can you balance working while attending school? When you graduate, how can you translate your academic knowledge into the skills employers are looking for? There will be time for audience questions, which can be submitted anonymously in advance.

  • Emily Keller, Political Science and Public Policy Librarian, University of Washington Libraries (moderator)
  • Alena Wolotira, Head of Public Services, Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington
  • Cindy Aden, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, University of Washington iSchool
  • Sarah O’Hare, Public Services Librarian, Spokane County Library District

Wednesday, May 19 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.


So You Want to Work in School Libraries?

What is it really like to work in a school library? A panel of school library professionals is here to answer all your burning questions. Learn how to land a job in a school library, the heart of the school. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked live.

  • Panelists TBA
Friday, May 21 | 12-1:30 p.m.


Interview "Speed Dating"

Where do you see yourself in five years? What about on Friday, May 21? We hope you’ll join us for Interview Speed “Dating,” where you’ll get paired off randomly into Zoom breakout rooms for short one-on-one conversations with other attendees. You’ll share your answers to icebreakers and interview questions, followed by a facilitated group discussion. Make new connections while you work on your interview skills!

  • Kate Laughlin, Strategic Advisor, WLA (moderator)
Monday, May 24 | 12-1 p.m.


Changing Course in Your Career

Are you thinking about making the jump into a different job role, library type, or field? Hear from a panel of library professionals who have each made a career pivot — or several. How can you move between academic, public, school, and special libraries? How do you make the jump from a library to a corporate job, and vice versa? If you have your eye on another role within your organization, how do you position yourself? Whether you’re just starting our or have years of experience, learn how you can change course to land the job you want. Panelists will discuss transferable skills, networking, and their own experiences making career pivots. There will be time for audience questions, which can be submitted anonymously in advance.

  • Crystal Miller, Business and Career Development Librarian, Spokane County Library District (moderator)
  • Cadi Russell Sauvé, Information Architect, REI
  • Darcy Brixey, Manager, Library Services & Instructional Materials, Seattle Public Schools
  • Georgia Reitmire, Managing Librarian, Yakima Valley Libraries
Wednesday, May 26 | 12-1 p.m.


So You Want to Work in Special Libraries?

What is it really like to work in a special library? A panel of special library professionals is here to answer all your burning questions. Hear about jobs in corporate, law, tribal, speciality, archival, and research libraries, and learn how to land those jobs. Questions can be submitted in advance or asked live.

  • Panelists TBA

 

Thank you to our Career Advisory Committee members Crystal Miller, JoLyn Reisdorf, Darcy Brixey, Marissa Rydzewski, Elizabeth Iaukea, and Emily Keller for their advice and consultation in the creation of this event!