Library Job Searching in a Tough Economy

When I read recently that I had been one of 200 potential candidates for an academic library position I came to the sad realization that, yes, this economy was going to affect my job search tremendously.  As a recent graduate from Dominican University’s LIS program, I’ve been on the hunt for a few months and my techniques for searching have changed quite dramatically.  I used to sample a few sites a couple times a week and browse through the listings in ACRL publications, but recently I’ve refined my attack to be much more effective.  I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

You may ask, “why unveil your modus operandi to potential job-seeking competitors?”  Well, we’re all hurting when it comes to job searching.  My father was recently unemployed for nearly a year.  I watched him stress out over personal, financial, and professional concerns as he looked and looked for something new.  Luckily, he was hired by a non-profit company, and, I hope, has let some of those concerns wash away.  I hope that some of these techniques may help you avoid the stress that has affected my father and many like him and help you find that position you so dearly seek like I do.

Please add your techniques or sites in the comments.


You may have dismissed Twitter as another social networking fad or annoyance or haven’t looked at Twitter as a job searching tool, but I ask you to reconsider.  There are a few solid Twitterers out there that list new library jobs as tweets:


I’m not all that active on Facebook but I did notice that ALA’s JobList was active on this social networking site.  Please leave a comment if you know of any other library job sources on Facebook


Rachel Singer Gordon has brought us another wonderful library-related project with her forum.  You can find postings, discussion, and even a good share of encouragement if needed.  Again, if you know of any other library-related job forums please share them in the comments.  And thanks again, Rachel, for your services.


Using Google Reader combined with an application called EventBox, I’ve been following RSS feeds quite closely.  Of all the “new” tools out there to help find new jobs, RSS is probably the most useful.  Major sites like Educause, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many others provide feeds for certain types of positions, categories, or even search phrases.  I’ve found that some human resources pages of organizations include RSS feeds, but not nearly enough as I’d like.

Tabbed Browsing and Favorites

When all the new tools of the web fail you, go ahead and rest on the tried and true techniques like adding sites as favorites.  For those sites that don’t offer RSS feeds or organizations that I want to make sure I know when jobs have opened up, I favorite their human resources page.  I then put all those favorites in a folder and a couple times a week open those favorites in tabs in Safari (or your browser of choice) and skim the postings.

TTW Contributor: Kyle Jones