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Gwendolyn Prellwitz (staff)'s picture

Recruitment messaging

Hi all,

As we start to develop the display and related recruitment materials, we wanted to get your feedback and brainstorm with you about recruitment messaging.  If you could take sometime between now and March 18th to actively bring to our attention materials and messaging about the profession that appeals to you.  In addition to posting links and pdfs/scans, feel free to also throw in your words and thoughts about what resonates (and what doesn't).  We're looking for taglines, verbage, imagery etc.  

Please keep this to a targeted discussion related to physical recruitment materials, but within those constructs please get as creative as possible and post early, post often. 

I'll be in touch soon to setup a date for us to have a virtual meeting where we can look at some of your suggestions and go through some of the existing recruitment materials available through ALA.  We'll plan to hold that session later in March, so again please seek out materials and post your thoughts and examples prior to March 18th so that we have plenty to look at and discuss during our virtual session. 

PS -- feel free to include examples of recruitment materials from other professions if you like the design, messaging etc.

Deana Greenfield's picture

Hi everyone, after being really sick for far too long I'm playing catch up on our site here!

I have a few ideas a recruitment messaging - images go a long way. It would be nice to have visuals of librarians in action so people could see that they all don't look like, wear the same clothes, do the same jobs, etc. Something about seeing real people in professions appeals to me because I start to think "maybe, I could do that? that person reminds me of myself (my mom, my cousin, a friend....)"

I'm actively looking for examples of this but in the meantime here are some other ideas:

This is a pretty slick looking site about "Why be a librarian" http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~hblack/whylibrarian.htm the links under "librarians are radicial" are especially interesting...and I like the personal connection with "librarians are me" at the end

Top ten lists are another nice tool - they are easily circulated on the internet. They are also concise and full of soundbites. Example: http://www.ala.org/ala/educationcareers/careers/paths/top10reasons.cfm

 

 

Bobbye Hernandez's picture

I agree Deana, images go a long way, especially in the type of settings we will be displaying. People don't want to have to stop and read paragraphs when they can look at a picture that conveys the same message. I also liked that "Why be a librarian" website, those categories were good and I like how it had links to different sites for more info. (at least the radical librarians section did). Perhaps we could have some info on not only different types of librarianship and the different caucuses but also organizations like radical reference and anarchist librarians.

 

Holly Smith (non-member)'s picture

Hey everyone,


I
hope everyone has been doing good. I just wanted to second all the
great ideas for recruiting materials that have been already been
mentioned, I think they are awesome. I think any images or poster/ fliers we can create to negate
the librarian stereotypes would be very effective. My friend and I at work joked that we were
going to start an ad campaign with various images of "non traditional
librarians"; for example a librarian shelving books with high heels and a
caption saying something like “But these are sensible shoes!”. 
All jokes aside, I think again employing photographs of different
librarians in various environments can be a powerful recruiting tool.



I
also had the pleasure of hearing a fantastic session on recruiting at
the Library Association at UNC Chapel Hill's (LAUNC-CH) Annual Conference
in March. Gerald Holmes and Dr. Sha Li Zhang from the Department
of Library & Information Science at  UNC Greensboro spoke about
recruiting minority students into the Academic and Cultural Enrichment
Scholars (ACE)  program at UNC Greensboro. Not only does this program
include recruitment, it provides internship opportunities, mentoring
with academic librarians, and  other cultural enrichment programs. There are nine academic institutions including UNC-G that are
participating . I asked Mr. Holmes if he  would not mind sharing some of
the recruiting materials mentioned in the presentation with me and if I
could share them with the recruiters, and he kindly agreed. So I will
pass along any materials Mr. Holmes will send me.

Meanwhile, here is the
link to the ACE program website:
http://lis.uncg.edu/admissions/financial-support/ace-scholars-program/


Also,
here is the title of a book I read when I worked with my advisor to
recruit minority students into the archival management in Simmons
College’s library science program:

Gregory L. Reese & Ernestine L. Hawkins, "Stop Talking, Start Doing!: Attracting People of Color to the Library Profession", American Library Association, 1999.


It has been a while since I’ve read it, and it is a little dated, but it had some interesting suggestions in it.


Looking forward to seeing you all soon!



Holly A. Smith


"Freedom is a state of mind not a tangible condition" ~ Inyanla Vanzant 





On Fri, Feb 25

Holly A. Smith

"Freedom is a state of mind not a tangible condition" ~ Inyanla Vanzant 

Somaly Kim Wu (not verified)'s picture

That's a great idea Holly. I presented at the UnHushed conference this past Satuday and discussed Marketing to Next Gen and Breaking Stereotypes. Let's plan something for NCLA.

Holly Smith (non-member)'s picture

That's great Somaly! I'm sorry I had to miss the conference, I know it was great. Absolutely, let's talk about NCLA and see what we can do.

Holly A. Smith


"Freedom is a state of mind not a tangible condition" ~ Inyanla Vanzant 






O

Holly A. Smith

"Freedom is a state of mind not a tangible condition" ~ Inyanla Vanzant 

Connie Chow's picture

A few weeks after our session in San Diego, my coworker and I attended a job fair in Decatur, AL, where hundreds of high school students and community college students were bused in to visit a number of booths representing companies and organizations throughout North Alabama. I was there testing the waters as a recruiter and representing my library. Here are just some thoughts that I had following the event.

One of the things I found most successful was advising people that weren't sure about becoming librarians to become a volunteer. Many people were surprised by the "no commitment" aspect of that. If the job fair is in your library's service area, I recommend bringing volunteer and job applications since that was often requested.

The fair was hosted by a community college so they had guidance counselors that stopped by to check on each booth. I tried to follow up with the counselors that gave me their business cards to ensure they knew I'd be a good contact in case they had a student who was interested in becoming a librarian.

Our display was fairly simple. We had a banner w/ our library name and some brochures, one of which was created by a coworker about why "Librarians Rock." Next time, I'll be sure to bring some acrylic brochure and sign holders that stand up the materials. Then the visitors can see what the booth is about from farther away. Placing papers face up wasn't the best approach since many were scared to just walk up and peer at the table top. Also, we'll make better use of our laptop to create a kiosk type powerpoint with photos of librarians in action. We had so many questions (and misconceptions) about what librarians do that a visual of our work would have worked better.

To draw people in, we did have a candy dish but it would have been better to have people guess our profession or do some book trivia to engage people then give them a reward.

In looking at recruitment materials for other professions, I particularly liked the Johnson & Johnson Discover Nursing website: http://www.discovernursing.com/ They have different info and recruitment materials for specific groups they are seeking to recruit from.

 

 

Robert L. Jones (non-member)'s picture

Hi all! Sorry for the late post. My wife had our baby on the 17th so it's been quite busy around my house. Nonetheless, the ideas that I'm seeing so far on here things that I was thinking of as well. I definitely think that people do need to see librarians at work who aren't the stereotype. And since our target audience is young minorities, these should be the faces on our display.

It would be great if we could think of a tagline for the posters/display. "Be Courageous. Be Bold. Become a librarian". You get the picture. :)

I also like Connie's idea. Let's not only promote the profession, but also the workplace as a whole. For many of us, the profession found us by way of starting in other positions at the library. Information/visual aids on library support staff/voluntary staff would be  helpful tools for recruitment. 

 Robert Jones
PLSC State Data Coordinator
Youth Services Consultant
Illinois State Library
300 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62703

Bobbye Hernandez's picture

congrats on your new baby!

Somaly Kim Wu (not verified)'s picture

Congrats!!!

Deana Greenfield's picture

Love seeing librarians in action - i'm thinking striking visuals , maybe a triptych of faces with tagline "I inform, I innovate, I inspire - I'm a librarian" - just thinking...

Bobbye Hernandez's picture

I keep going back to visuals - this may be impossible (so I'm just putting it out there) but what if instead of typical give-aways we make visitors to our booth their very own READ postcard. One year my library made Read posters and everyone loved them, not just little kids. I recall that the entire time we were doing the posters and even when we were just displaying them, we had more traffic than usual. It might be a fun way to get people to our booth and who could forget the booth were they got a postcard of themselves?

Holly Smith (non-member)'s picture

Sorry if you all are getting this twice.  I responded in my email but I'm not sure if it went through. I second those congrats Robert on the new baby!! ~ Holly

 

Hey everyone,
 
I hope everyone has been doing good. I just wanted to second all the great ideas for recruiting materials that have been already been mentioned, I think they are awesome. I think any images or poster/ fliers we can create to negate the librarian stereotypes would be very effective. My friend and I at work joked that we were going to start an ad campaign with various images of "non traditional librarians"; for example a librarian shelving books with high heels and a caption saying something like “But these are sensible shoes!”.  All jokes aside, I think again employing photographs of different librarians in various environments can be a powerful recruiting tool.
 
I also had the pleasure of hearing a fantastic session on recruiting at the Library Association at UNC Chapel Hill's (LAUNC-CH) Annual Conference in March. Gerald Holmes and Dr. Sha Li Zhang from the Department of Library & Information Science at  UNC Greensboro spoke about recruiting minority students into the Academic and Cultural Enrichment Scholars (ACE)  program at UNC Greensboro. Not only does this program include recruitment, it provides internship opportunities, mentoring with academic librarians, and  other cultural enrichment programs. There are nine academic institutions including UNC-G that are participating . I asked Mr. Holmes if he  would not mind sharing some of the recruiting materials mentioned in the presentation with me and if I could share them with the recruiters, and he kindly agreed. So I will pass along any materials Mr. Holmes will send me.

Meanwhile, here is the link to the ACE program website: http://lis.uncg.edu/admissions/financial-support/ace-scholars-program/

Also, here is the title of a book I read when I worked with my advisor to recruit minority students into the archival management in Simmons College’s library science program:

Gregory L. Reese & Ernestine L. Hawkins, "Stop Talking, Start Doing!: Attracting People of Color to the Library Profession", American Library Association, 1999.

It has been a while since I’ve read it, and it is a little dated, but it had some interesting suggestions in it.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Holly A. Smith

"Freedom is a state of mind not a tangible condition" ~ Inyanla Vanzant 

Somaly Kim Wu (not verified)'s picture

I'm late to this but it's actually perfect because my boss Stanley Wilder just presented a keynote that resonated with me. The title of the talk was "How to Talk about our Profession so we have one". I'll see if I can add the slides. I think it speaks to what we're trying to accomplish. Anyways one of the take away message was re-marketing ourselves turning the negatives positive. For example if someone says to you I went through all four years of college without stepping foot in a library he suggest you respond with "You're Welcome!". We work hard to make our resources available electronically. I would prefer to break stereotypes rather than perpetuate them. For example someone wore a t-shirt that said "Don't Make me Hush You". Excuse me when was the last time you hushed anyone in the library. I work in an Information Commons, not exactly quiet. And we encourage our students to be noisy and work collaboratively. In fact I've been hushed by students. I lead a discussion group at this UnConference. One of my talking points was the idea of reading. I love to read as am sure we all do but that's one of those misconception/stereotypes of librarians. I point people to ALA JobLists. Where do you see under preferred or desired qualifications "must love to read"? It doesn't, instead you get tech savvy, etc. My goal is not to recruit for the sake of recruiting but to educate so that we have a profession in the future. I'm going to be selective in my recruitment, I'm not desparate. This is our future I don't want someone interested in an easy ride. I suggest you all do the same.

Gwendolyn Prellwitz (staff)'s picture

Hi Somaly,

Do you have access to the slides from Stanley's presentation -- it sounds really interesting!

Gwendolyn Prellwitz Assistant Director, ALA Office for Diversity & Spectrum Scholarship Program

Somaly Kim Wu (not verified)'s picture

I'm working on it. Will be happy to share once I get it.

Somaly Kim Wu (not verified)'s picture

Here you go.

AttachmentSize
UNCG version how to talk.pptx91.85 KB
Bobbye Hernandez's picture

I went to the Oregon Library Association conference last week and stopped by the University of Washington's iSchool booth to see how they were selling it and I picked up their diversity pamphlet. The following paragraph is used to describe Seattle and why to choose UW, but I like the way it can really be said about almost any city these days and how it can be used to expain why diverse librarians are needed in the profession, our communites are changing and so should our profession.

"This diversity is evident in the specrum of languages spoken, cultural, events and activities, restaurants, availability of foods and ingredients in grocery stores and neigborhood markets, and sercives directed by and for specific communities of color."

Deana Greenfield's picture

Diversity/Careers is a journal that focuses on career opportunities and information for technical workers who are members of minority groups. I liked reading about what each section of the journal covered. I think that we can adapt these categories to librarianship and further focus our recruiting message. We could even have a website with content in several of these sections. Take a look and see what you think:

 

In each issue you'll find articles from the following categories:

  • Focus on Diversity: Focuses on a single minority group within engineering or information technology. Features interviews with professionals working in technical jobs.
  • Diversity Update: Shorter articles on technical workforce diversity topics.
  • Changing Technologies: An assessment of the job market and important skills in specific technical areas.
  • Technical Career Update: Shorter articles that look at hiring activity in a single industry.
  • Supplier Diversity: Minority and women entrepreneurs and the forward-looking corporations they work with.
  • Diversity in Action: Short profiles of the diversity activities at specific companies (or other organizations). Usually based on interviews with the company's diversity and/or human resources manager.
  • Up & Coming: A calendar of events of interest to readers - job fairs, meetings and more. Collected by Diversity/Careers staff from societies and other organizations.
  • News & Views: Opinions and news items of interest on diversity, technology, jobs and more... Contributions, suggestions and letters are welcome!
  • Meet the Movers: A portrait of an important contributor to engineering or IT workforce diversity.
  • On the Rise: Profiles of companies started and run by minority or female technical professionals.
  • Mentors at Work: Professionals working with young people.
  • People, Managing: Short profiles of technical folks who are members of the diverse workforce.
  • On the Road: The travels of Diversity/Careers staffers, with lots of photos from minority technical career fairs and conferences.
Deana Greenfield's picture

Hi all,

I know this statement isn't specifically for the library profession but I thought it was an interesting approach to the typical diversity statement corporations put out when recruiting...  maybe we can draw some ideas from this.

I like the abundance of acceptance in the message and I really like the simple statement of "We welcome you."  The phrase "hope, energy, and idealism" also resonates with me.

Diversity Statement

Platitudes are cheap. We've all heard services say they're committed to "diversity" and "tolerance" without ever getting specific, so here's our stance on it:

We welcome you.

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, and political opinion. We welcome activists, artists, bloggers, crafters, dilettantes, musicians, photographers, readers, writers, ordinary people, extraordinary people, and everyone in between. We welcome people who want to change the world, people who want to keep in touch with friends, people who want to make great art, and people who just need a break after work. We welcome fans, geeks, nerds, and pixel-stained technopeasant wretches. (We welcome Internet beginners who aren't sure what any of those terms refer to.) We welcome you no matter if the Internet was a household word by the time you started secondary school or whether you were already retired by the time the World Wide Web was invented.

We welcome you. You may wear a baby sling, hijab, a kippah, leather, piercings, a pentacle, a political badge, a rainbow, a rosary, tattoos, or something we can only dream of. You may carry a guitar or knitting needles or a sketchbook. Conservative or liberal, libertarian or socialist — we believe it's possible for people of all viewpoints and persuasions to come together and learn from each other. We believe in the broad spectrum of human experience. We believe that amazing things come when people from different worlds and world-views approach each other to create a conversation.

We get excited about creativity — from pro to amateur, from novels to haiku, from the artist who's been doing this for decades to the person who just picked up a sketchbook last week. We support maximum freedom of creative expression, within the few restrictions we need to keep the service viable for other users. With servers in the US we're obliged to follow US laws, but we're serious about knowing and protecting your rights when it comes to free expression and privacy. We will never put a limit on your creativity just because it makes someone uncomfortable — even if that someone is us.

We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority, not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug. We believe in being inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of anyone who comes to us with good faith and the desire to build a community.

We have enough experience to know that we won't get any of this perfect on the first try. But we have enough hope, energy, and idealism to want to learn things we don't know now. We may not be able to satisfy everyone, but we can certainly work to avoid offending anyone. And we promise that if we get it wrong, we'll listen carefully and respectfully to you when you point it out to us, and we'll do our best to make good on our mistakes.

We think our technical and business experience is important, but we think our community experience is more important. We know what goes wrong when companies say one thing and do another, or when they refuse to say anything at all. We believe that keeping our operations transparent is just as important as keeping our servers stable.

We use the service we're selling, and we built it because we wanted it ourselves. We won't treat people as second-class undesireables because they're non-mainstream or might frighten advertisers. We don't have advertisers to frighten. To us, you're not eyeballs. You're not pageviews. You're not demographic groups. You're people.

Come dream with us.