career Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership


The first step in any new job hunt or career change is to freshen up or create a new resume. Here are proven tips from Jenny Foss to make your resume stand out for that next interview.

Skills and Value

Highlighting your unique skills and the value you bring the company is the first step in creating a resume. Use a resume template that is easy to read and uses all the real estate on the page.  That said, make sure your resume is no more than two pages in length. Be sure to use an 11 or 12 size font for easy reading by the reviewer. Only include “technology proficiencies” if you can fit it easily on the second page.

Depending on your industry, it is usually understood that the average applicant is knowledgeable in Microsoft applications, etc. However, if you are a whiz with WordPress then absolutely include this in your “Skills Section.” Your value and job skills need to be near the beginning of your first page and highlighted.

Employment Gaps

With the recent pandemic, many job seekers will have gaps in employment for various reasons. Handling gaps depends upon your specific situation, such as childcare, relocation for a spouse, or being laid off. Explaining the gap depends upon the amount of time that has elapsed, the industry, and if you’re changing careers. There are many ways to address gaps on a resume. Be prepared to tell your story at the interview in a succinct manner.

Grammar and Organization

Finally, proofread your resume very carefully. Have another person review and proofread for typos and continuity. A recent poll on LinkedIn stated that hiring managers felt that zero mistakes or typos should appear on resumes. Be sure your organization follows the template so the most prominent skills in the job description match the skills on your resume. Don’t lie. Rather, match words that will help the resume scanning software place you in the “A” pile to interview.

Review the job description carefully and be sure to tailor your resume for each job. The ATS or applicant tracking system will thank you, and you will land that coveted interview. Include the keywords that are used in the job posting on your resume for best results.

Finally, save your resume as a PDF and word document.  Different companies use different formatting when resumes are submitted online. Always double check your download before you click submit for the cleanest and most reader-friendly resume.   Good Luck!

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career Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Halloween Costumes

Halloween is right around the corner, and that means dressing up in costume for some people. Check out some ideas to make your Halloween costume for 2022 easy, fun, and friendly for all work environments.

Traditional Halloween

When you think Halloween you think, pumpkins, witches, zombies, and monsters.  These costumes will work, but what if you work in a school, nursing home, or other public setting? You need to be mindful of toy weapons, fake blood, and scary costumes. These props don’t always translate well for all crowds.

If you decide to dress up in a traditional costume, make sure your clothing is modest without toy knives or guns.  Keep blood and gore to a minimum too. Finally, make sure your costume (including hats and shoes) allows you to move freely. You need to be comfortable and still be able to do your job Halloween day. Have fun, but also think of others.

Pop Culture

Another idea for a fun Halloween costume is what’s trending on Instagram or Tik Tok. Usually popular streaming shows, like “Stranger Things” or classic television like the “Flintstones” or the “Grinch” are hits.  These costumes are popular with families and large groups to coordinate with a theme.

Be mindful of the time involved to gather props, even if you’re dressing up like a simple TV character.  Begin your search now, so come October 31st, you’ve got all the items you need to complete your costume.

The NO Costume, Costume

I’m referring to folks that don’t like dressing up, but still want to participate in work or school costume contests. You either didn’t give yourself enough time or decided last minute to dress up.  Here is a list of easy to throw together DIY costume ideas to try last minute:

  1. Tourist – Hawaiian shirt, camera or lei, shorts, sandals, and a straw hat
  2. Pirate – White shirt, black pants, red bandana, and a stuffed parrot if you’ve got it
  3. Ghost – Come on, do I have to tell you about the sheet with holes?
  4. Librarian – Pants or skirt, cardigan sweater with a broach or bow tie, glasses if you’ve got them, carrying a stack of books. Don’t forget to “shush” people all day if you must.

These are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Check out Pinterest for more Halloween costume ideas and have a ball this year dressing up!

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Goalsetting for Your Career

Goalsetting is a useful tool to guide your career in any industry, especially in libraries. Read on for tools to help in setting goals and developing your career plan for future growth. With work- place cultures changing due to COVID, realigning your goals now might be right for you.

Gap Analysis

A standard gap analysis determines your current status, and where you’d like to end up. The gap or what’s missing is in the middle. Does this gap need to be filled with education, another job, increased salary, or a new geographic asset? Only you can determine what is the most important factor and how to obtain your goal. Having your plan benchmarked with SMART goals and establishing a plan to close gaps will get you there. Smaller goals should build upon one another to fill the gaps and ultimately help you achieve your main career objective.


Finding a trusted mentor you can rely on will help in your career plan. Finding more than one will help even more, especially if a few are outside of your industry. Jobs and careers are made with relationships and connections. Networking and finding mentors might be a little more difficult with more industries working remotely. However, volunteering for service events, attending conferences, and adding value in your current job, position you as a leader. Mentors are drawn to natural leaders, so just ask if you feel a connection with a colleague. The more genuine connections you make with people, the more likely you will find someone to help you.

Use LinkedIn

Finally, use LinkedIn and use it a lot. If your partner’s career dictates your geographic location and possibly your career goals now, then pivot. What I mean is, what smaller achievements can you accomplish which will help you get toward that larger career goal. Think about teaching, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired industry or job. Anything to make yourself more valuable to a future employer will help you in the long run. To overcome a geographic obstacle be sure to link with colleagues in your desired location. You never know what opportunities might open or when you might make a physical move.

Having a career plan is a way to keep your goals on track, yet flexible for life. Especially with the pandemic having families rethink priorities, having a career plan in place will make you feel more in control of your future. Best of luck!

career Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Stress Free Work

The last two years has changed the way we work, learn, and interact with friends and colleagues. Read on for easy habits to help you develop resilience when working remotely.


Working remotely can be lonely and even isolating if you work from another state or country. Develop a habit of clearing your mind every morning before work begins. It’s as simple as writing a To Do list and clearing your brain.

Furthermore, when you clear your mind, you are physically ready to meet challenges from work. I’m thinking examples such as, technology issues, connectivity hiccups or a very long  Zoom meeting.  Making room for these challenges enables your mind to tackle extra problems easier and be more efficient.

Get a Pet

Having a pet at your remote working location has many health benefits. Research has shown that dogs and cats reduce your heart rate, provide companionship, and alleviates feelings of isolation.

Having a cat is easier if your schedule is not as rigid. Cats can be left alone for a day or two with food and water. While dogs, require more one on one care, especially during the puppy years. Walks, playtime, and regular meals are what dogs need to thrive. The love and attention pets provide you will outweigh the time needed to provide for a healthy work companion.

Make a Major Change

With the Great Resignation a reality, consider living your dream.  What career would make you happy?  What home or lifestyle change would fulfill an unmet need in you? This is a personal, more introspective step to take, but very beneficial especially if you feel “stuck.”

Making a major change in your life, to fulfill something burning inside is a bold step. To fulfill the life you envision is life changing, to say the least. If you are not a risk taker, this can be scary. Make sure your family is on board and you have a support system in place. Finally, having a financial plan is especially important for a major change to occur and be successful.

Working remotely will not solve all your problems or make some people happier. It’s up to you understand your individual needs and live the life you desire. We all have responsibilities, but if there’s a will there’s a way.  Best of luck living your dream!

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Basic SEO

Basic Search Engine Optimization or SEO is straightforward. Here are some simple tips to get your website and social media recognized. These strategies worked for me.

Be Consistent

According to LinkedIn Learning you need your name to be public on all the top social media platforms. Those top five are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest as of this writing. If there is more than one person with your name, make the URL the same across all platforms. This allows searching easier for Google and Bing. For example, use your last name first, then first name to create a unique account. Try to avoid the underscore icon _ which is difficult to see. Avoid catch phrases that will not stand the test of time. Simple and consistent is the best sign on for each account.

Fresh Content

Next, you need to add fresh content to your feeds on a consistent basis. Whether sharing an article, photo, or update authentic content counts. Keeping your platforms fresh and updated every 3-6 months is also important. This means updating your personal profile, background photos, and hashtags as needed routinely.

New content brings new followers and engages your current audience. Furthermore, think about a “theme” or brand for your accounts.  Accounts that are successful share work-related information, selfcare, or other special interests, like pet information. Keeping content focused on your niche will draw other potential audience members to your account.

Beware of Copyright

Sharing and providing credit or retweeting others’ posts is okay. Posting content as your own is not. Be mindful of copyright laws and the impact you will have if you purposefully post someone else’s content. It’s better to ask permission than to just move forward with a post. This includes photos, pins from Pinterest, and other uncredited material.

Double Up Your Efforts

Besides the top five listed above, be sure to investigate goodreads, Elephant Journal, and Tumblr if you love to read, write, or take photos. Flickr is another great public platform to host your photos for free. You can post photos later from the Flickr site and set the permissions for other’s use of your photos. Engaging on all platforms with likes, comments and replies are important to promote your brand and engage your audience.

Remembering that consistent, fresh content will draw the largest audience to your sites is key. Have fun, be positive, and learn from others in your social media circle!

Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership

Library Partnerships

Entering the third year of the pandemic, no one saw the library industry changes coming. With in-person programs and events still uncertain, how do library partnerships evolve?  Read on for tips your team can use to thrive with change. During and after Covid, libraries will need to bounce back and be relevant with programs more than ever before.

Virtual meetings

As the pandemic drags on, your library should be in regular contact with your community partners. Zoom and Teams should be your best friend, to connect with leaders and your stakeholders. School Districts, Civic and other organizations have varying levels of safety protocols. Always error on the side of caution and meet up virtually with your partners.

Keep in touch with mutual goals, benchmarks, or patron data that might need analyzing. “Back to normal” might never happen, so keeping abreast of your partners’ new goals and interests is key right now.

Attend annual events safely

If the virus is not a threat in your community and you can safety attend in-person annual events, do it!  Nothing takes the place of “face time” and meeting with your partners. This also applies to new partners your library was cultivating before the pandemic.

Keeping the pipeline full of potential new partners with similar community goals is vital especially now. Think beyond your normal partnerships and look at new bonds you can form.  Is there a new literacy organization or an arm from the American Rescue Plan that would work with your library’s strategic plan? Now is the time to get creative and seek these groups out.

Seek Out New Partners

Like pre-pandemic, your team will still need to reach out and connect with new schools, faith-based organizations, and other partners. With the building quieter and less foot traffic, meet with internal departments in your city or university to find common ground.

Does the city need a new recreation space or social service? This might be the lifeline the library needs to provide a needed service for the community. Libraries are now providing onsite Covid testing and take-home tests. Don’t leave anything off the table if your library can support a needed service now.

Getting a jump start on new partnerships and maintaining current ones should be library leadership’s priority. It’s never too late to have alternative plans ready if your senior leadership needs the library to expand services. Be ready and be prepared, especially during this time of post pandemic usage.

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Digital Marketing in Libraries

The internet and digital marketing have advantages for libraries. Read on for a couple of tricks to increase your library’s exposure and customer base. Libraries are here to stay, and social media will help bring customers back into the building.

Social Media

It’s a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram driven world. This means that marketing your library on these social media platforms is essential. That’s true for any business. Post pictures of programs, customers, and be sure to use hashtags every post. Post photos of the building, bookstore, and community events at your library. Keep up with various literary events such as Banned Books Week or National Library Week.

Email Marketing

Set up a mailing list and then blast out newsletters and other information to teachers, legislators, and other local officials. Customers need to be reminded the library is in the community.  Furthermore, reach out to new customers interested in various events at your library. Grow those customers and sign them up for a library card!

Use Videos

A picture is worth a thousand words, and photos sell. We live in a video-saturated world.  Make short videos about the programs at your library.  Storytimes and children’s programs have the biggest audiences at libraries, so publicize the most popular.

When doing this or taking pictures, it is important to use a proper high-quality HD-capable camera. With all the images we encounter in our daily lives now, we are quite good at telling HD from non-HD photos. The latter are now judged as inferior by default. Go for the quality and make an impression.

Event Marketing

What’s the next big event that you’re hosting at your library? Whatever it is, you want to use that to market your library big time. What’s more, you need to make sure that as many people know about it as possible. Use the tools above, employ flyers and banners, advertise to schools, and use other traditional event planning measures to get as much exposure as possible.

All this and more can help you get your library the publicity it needs and deserves


career Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership

SWOT As A Tool

Do you need a tool to determine next steps for your career or maybe another big decision in your life?  Ever wonder how data can help you make decisions? Read on for the steps in creating your own S.W.O.T. analysis and why it is an important tool.

Strengths and Opportunities

A simple S.W.O.T. analysis uses four metrics, using available information about your project or decision. The four components are: S=Strengths, W=Weaknesses, O=Opportunities and T=Threats.  Strengths and opportunities are seen as the positives for a decision or project.

If you’re making a career move, a strength of yours would be flexibility in moving for a job. An opportunity would be your strong negotiating skills, to help you find your next job. Anything which will help the cause is your strength and an opportunity to achieve your goal.

Weaknesses and Threats

On the other hand, weaknesses and threats hinder your pursuits. Using a career move as the same example, a weakness is your inability to relocate for a job. A threat might be a poor job market in your desired location. Using a SWOT template, you list the information you’ve gathered. You would then analyze your career needs and the possible steps to move toward your goal. To sum it up, it’s a pros and cons list for situations, decisions, or projects.

Why S.W.O.T.

S.W.O.T. analysis tools are used to develop strategic plans, gain stakeholder feedback, and provide data for decisions.  In the library strategic plans I’ve developed, S.W.O.T. templates, focus groups and surveys were used to create and implement plans.  I’ve also seen interviewees use S.W.O.T. analysis to help “sell” themselves during a recruitment. Again, information that is data-driven will add value to a decision or project. Being knowledgeable in developing a S.W.O.T. analysis for your next project or committee will add value.  You will also have the data to back up decisions.

Take some time to determine if a S.W.O.T. analysis will help you and then check out the various templates to make the job easier.

career Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership

Libraries and Entrepreneurs


Many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs. They look forward to being in control of their own destiny and love building a career. Entrepreneurs are motivated and driven, and they aren’t afraid of hard work. The question is, where can you find resources to help get started? The answer is your local library!

Libraries Provide Access 

There are many research and reference tools for entrepreneurs at public libraries. Online tools that would cost a fortune if you had to purchase them yourself are free. Libraries have resources such as Reference USA, Regional Business News, and Business Source Premier for free.  These databases normally would cost thousands of dollars to access. Public libraries allow free access anytime with a library card and computer. Check to see if your city has multiple library systems, to access different subscriptions from each library. 

Free Patent Information

Checking out a patent or idea before moving forward is an entrepreneur’s first step. It is important to make sure that someone else doesn’t hold a trademark or patent on your idea. Libraries provide patent check resources and trademark information for free. This way, an idea is vetted before investing heavily.  Avoid legal problems down the road by checking out your idea. 

Check Out the Competition

Researching your competition before you start your business is also important. Entrepreneurs want know everything about potential competitors.  Furthermore, the library offers free information on marketing, demographics, and sales volume for the competition. Information that is invaluable for your idea to be successful.  The Reference USA database is the best source to help you gain an edge with your own company.

Raising Capital

Finally, raising capital in any business is essential. You will need to find investors or angel funders.  Libraries have all the information you need to begin the search. You will find resources and people to help you create a pitch, a logo, and more. You can find ideas on how to name your product, and you can learn how to speak in public. Finally, you can learn how to approach investors and sell them on your idea. The public library should be the first stop for any start up, and all the information is free!  Best of luck on your new venture.

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Tips for Getting a Job at a Library

When you apply for a job, it is a good idea to know what to expect. Working in a library is a great job. Preparing for your interview so that you can stand out from other applicants is very important. Continue reading for tips on what hiring managers look for and how to get your first job at a library.

Library Organizations Provide Experience

Think about the skills you need as a librarian and get some experience from other organizations. There are many different groups to provide volunteer service. You want to gain experience that you can relate and tell a story in your interview. For example, the American Library Association is a great resource to learn more about library careers and jobs. The site provides information on training and links for more in-depth local volunteer opportunities.

Research the Job

It is important to learn as much as you can about the job you apply for in the library. Positions vary due to the amount of public service or contact you may need such as cash handling experience.  Visit the library’s website and research past programs, the online calendar, and any meeting minutes. Learn as much as you can about the goals for the library and how your future job would support initiatives.  In addition, researching the library’s website will help you understand the partners and programs offered. This research provides even more conversation starters for your future interview. You could also visit the library beforehand to get a feel for the work culture and fit for your needs. Observing library staff in action will give you valuable insights into what to expect from a possible job there.

Complete Application

Your application should be thorough and cover all the experience you have accumulated. Any work or volunteer time that relates to libraries should be listed, such as customer service and cash handling. In addition, make sure that you include a cover letter and your resume addressed to the hiring manager. This detail could make you stand out from other applicants who do not include these personalized touches. Also, make sure to have a friend or family member proofread your application to ensure there are no mistakes. Proper grammar is also very important to make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Finally, run through a practice interview with a friend who understands the job and your skills. You will have more confidence and less nerves if you practice in a conversational style. Good luck!