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Dana Peterman's picture

EBSS Current Topics Discussion #2: Mid-Career Development of Librarians - Summary, Bibliography, Related Links and Chat Transcript.

Summary by Dana Peterman

The second EBSS current topics discussion centered on the life of mid-career librarians and was jointly facilitated by Sandra Riggs and a librarian who had successfully passed through mid-career, Ann Brownson. The talk was hosted by Members at Large, Cheryl Goldstein and Dana Peterman. Attended by 20 librarians, most of whom had been working for 5 to 9 years, we discussed how to achieve a work/life balance and how to create a sense of satisfaction within our jobs. The strategies and circumstances that mid-career librarians discussed were both varied and nuanced and it was easy to see oneself in this discussion. Stressors that created a sense of dis-satisfaction and imbalance mentioned included time pressures, family life conflicts, institutional practices concerning time use, and the relationship - implied or stated - resulting from faculty status or lack of faculty status. Practical recommendations for achieving a life/work balance ranged from actively participating in communities outside the library to avoiding most email outside of work time. One of the more interesting work conflicts mentioned involved the obligation some librarians felt to serve departments to which they liaised that prevented them from deciding to take reasonable time off during an illness.

Professional development opportunities that would lead to greater job satisfaction differed for the participants. While some were able to rely on university or library training, there were no perfect solutions. A couple of librarians mentioned that they liked being mentors to other people, but would also like to be mentored themselves. Scott Collard from the Mentorship Committee made a point of referring participants to the mentor matching program. At the end of the discussion, our thoughts turned to retirement and the concerns that arose from being a dual academic career couple. A number of the participants agreed to be contacted from this discussion and their contact information is included in the text transcript.

Bibliography by Sandra Riggs

Broady-Preston, J., & Bell, S. (2001). Motivating mid-career LIS professionals: The Aberystwyth experience. New Library World, 102(10), 372-381.

Freedman, S. (2009). Effective mentoring. IFLA Journal, 35, 171-182. doi: 10.1177/0340035209105672

Grady, G. & McCarthy, A. M. (2008). Work-life integration: experiences of mid-career professional working mothers. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23, 599-622.

Howard, A. (2010). Opening the windows of opportunity. AALL Spectrum, 14(5), 24-25.

McKnight, M. (2010). The agile librarian's guide to thriving in any institution. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Montgomery, D. (2002). Happily ever after: Plateauing as a means for long-term career satisfaction. Library Trends, 50, 702-716.

Mosley, P. A. (2004). Transitioning from librarian to middle manager. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Noh, Y. (2010). A study analyzing the career path of librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36, 329-346. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2010.05.007

Tucker, C. (2008). Development of midcareer librarians. Journal of Business & Finance, 13, 241-248. http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.edu/lib_articles/18

Related links:

ACRL EBSS Membership and Orientation Committee (Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section) at http://connect.ala.org/node/63981 contains some information about mentoring opportunities. Use the survey monkey link to volunteer to become an EBSS Buddy at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NYH2YVY to to be mentored

For the original announcement to EBSS Current Topics Discussion #2: Mid-Career Development of Librarians, see http://connect.ala.org/node/116695

2010 EBSS Current Topics Discussions included:

EBSS Current Topics Discussion #1: Are Reference Collections DOA in the 21st Century? (see http://connect.ala.org/node/115286http://connect.ala.org/node/115336, and http://connect.ala.org/node/117644 )

EBSS Current Topics Discussion #3: Using LibGuides for Instruction and Research Assistance (see http://connect.ala.org/node/118151 and http://connect.ala.org/node/121239)

EBSS Current Topics Discussion #4: Web 2.0 Tools for Collaboration and Information Literacy Instruction (TBA)

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