Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Jobs

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!


Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Leadership

Improving Employee Engagement

With the pandemic changing how we live our lives such as remote work environments or new meeting platforms, engaging your employees is so important. Leaders that connect with their employees regularly with solid communication will keep up morale in their teams. Offering new opportunities to expand skillsets and keeping lines of communication open are vital to boost morale and engagement. Doing this regularly in your library will enable your team to thrive even in the most unpredictable and changing times.

Regular Communication

Having set library staff meetings is a must in our changing work environment especially with in person programming and physical circulation numbers down. During the pandemic lockdown normal routines and work schedules were altered. So, expressing a clear message of what’s going on in your organization helps dispel rumors when no information is present. Clear communication keeps all your stakeholders informed and on the same page. Even in unpredictable times, telling your staff what’s going on is important to keep the lines of communication open and questions and answers flowing. When information is not shared timely or not at all, people tend to create their own answers or share misinformation.

Employee Engagement

Besides regular meetings, having a planned day or even one afternoon to schedule in house training is very important to keep up the skills of your library staff and more importantly keep up morale. Having few if any customers come into the library for more than a year, hit staff hard. Many organizations are still rebounding. Some libraries describe Staff Training Day as the one time all the employees from their entire team can come together. It is an opportunity to network and learn something new to help their patrons and community. Think about having the staff plan the events of the day and act as trainers to help build professional development. Plan an entire day of learning for your librarians and staff to help increase engagement immediately with the team.

Be present

Just because you can work remotely doesn’t mean you should. Being present and seen by your library team is the most important factor to consider when increasing morale. Think about your team of library workers who must show up every day to help customers. Being present for your team and walking the floor shows you care about them and your library community.

Remember to check back every few weeks for other tips to help manage and engage your team! Kathy Husser’s travel blog also has great tips for your next getaway.

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Leadership at Work

Gaining trust and building influence at work are important leadership skills and for the success of your library team. You will manage conflict better and be respected when hard decisions come down. During meetings, you are more likely to be heard and acknowledged when you’ve established a solid reputation with results based on integrity. Gaining influence is a skill and it takes experience. Continue reading to set the foundation for being an effective leader and influencer in your organization.

Start by Building Trust

Trust is a critical component of influence within your team and organization. When trust is the standard in the work culture, employees will listen to you and respect your opinion. Staff will know that changes or tasks are necessary without pushing back when trust exists. You cultivate trust by having open and honest conversations with your co-workers and leaders. Asking questions of your team and walking the library floor are good ways to connect. Honesty and open communication is the cornerstone to a healthy work team.

Be Consistent

You will build influence when you are consistent. People want their leaders to be predictable and follow through with tasks. You should be consistent with staff meetings, team feedback, and act upon the feedback provided. You should also be consistent in what you expect from others at work. This builds trust within the team, which helps build your reputation as a leader. Consistency in communication displays your work ethic, integrity, and the value of the library’s organization. It also shows commitment to your team and their personal and professional goals.

Be Flexible

It is important to be flexible on so many levels as an effective leader. During the day with regular tasks priorities will change, even major projects might morph into something different.  Things happen, and you need to be able to switch directions, when necessary, in a positive manner. Listening to constructive feedback from your supervisor or following recommendations from other departments, is vital to collaboration and building flexibility. When you are flexible and solution-oriented, it builds your leadership skills and influence within the organization.

Be a Good Listener

Finally, it’s important to listen to employees, your supervisor, and mentors. Consider your library partners and their goals, your organization’s goals and the new ideas that come from listening. When you are presented with the facts in a truthful manner, anything can be accomplished with listening and feedback.  Active listening enables people to feel valued and respected. Encourage people to speak their minds and take the time to make sure they feel heard. This creates an environment of trust and respect that is mutual and leads to an improved teamwork.

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Grant Funding Basics for Your Library


It is important to understand how grants operate before writing one for your library. You need to grasp the basics of submitting a grant and the library’s requirements. Continue reading to learn how to earn grant funding for your community’s library.

Understand What a Grant Is

A grant is simply a financial award that is designed to be used for a specific purpose or project. Grants differ from other funding since the money is tied to specific library goals or outcomes. Still, you must use grant money for its intended purpose and document your team’s work. Grants are awarded by grantors, or the group that is the source of the funding. There are three different types of grantors including nonprofit foundations, corporations, and the state and federal government. Individuals, families, or nonprofit community organizations fund private foundation grants. Businesses fund corporate grant gifts.  Finally, the federal government funds state and nationally controlled library grants through the IMLS.

Who Qualifies for a Grant?

There are four different categories to determine qualifications for grant funding. Nonprofit organizations that are registered as a 501c3 corporation and religious organizations come under nonprofit grantee receiver status. Grants for individuals, including students, researchers, scholars, and artists fall into another category. Finally, there are grants for tax-supported organizations such as schools, first responders, and government agencies like libraries.

Still, private organizations with public interests such as library Friends groups, and fundraising charities also qualify depending upon tax status. Grantors will clearly state grant requirements. For example, if a tax ID is needed in the application.

How to Find Library Grants

There are several ways to research grants for your library’s funding needs. For example, attending workshops and professional development meetings related to your project’s cause is one way. Subscribing to specific grant websites such as is another method to find grant money. You can also search specific projects at a one stop listing for upcoming grants. However, partnering with local corporations regarding unique grant opportunities for literacy or educational funds is also helpful. Reaching out to other unconventional civic groups which support mutual goals for the library and the group is another idea.

Furthermore, the best way to find out if your library qualifies for a grant is to read the application instructions. The application will explain funding goals, demographics of those served, and the documentation required after the grant is earned. Give it a try and good luck!

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

The Importance of Training and Developing Your Librarians


Being a librarian isn’t just about restocking shelves and helping people find books. It’s a job that requires a whole host of skills, which is why a Masters Degree in Library Science is required and other courses exist to help keep skills fresh. Why is training so important, and what programs exist to help?

Why it Matters

Any workforce needs to be competent, confident, and motivated. For as obvious as that may seem, people far too often overlook the importance of this with respect to the librarian profession. Competency means making sure that librarians update their skills as new software and IT systems are introduced.

What’s more, if managers don’t train librarians to respond to organizational changes, it can be all too easy for them to slip into a sense of ennui. From there, they can become disengaged, which in turn can reduce the quality of their service to library customers.

Some managers institute reward programs, while others invite promising librarians to take part in a leadership program with an opportunity for advancement. Remember, library work doesn’t just mean helping people as a front desk librarian. It can involve all manner of different technical services and archival research. It is up to existing library managers and leaders to help develop new librarian talent, matching them to their ideal roles and motivating them to meet their potential.

How Librarians Train

There are plenty of programs available to help managers give librarians the support and training they need to succeed. Some academic libraries are part of larger organizations, such as universities and hospitals. If so, they may offer specialized training programs or assistance via their in-house IT experts.

In addition, there are a plethora of specialized training programs that offer help via online courses and regional seminars. These include the American Library Association, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Society of College, National and University Libraries, the North West Academic Libraries, and the Public Library Association.

Athletes, singers, dancers, artists, soldiers, doctors all need support and training, and librarians are no different. These resources and similar programs can ensure that newcomers are motivated and tenured librarians remain fresh and the best they can be. 

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Why Your Library Is an Essential Part of Your Town


A library isn’t just a collection of books: it’s the beating heart of a city’s community. There are many reasons why libraries are the place where communities come together.

Building up Neighborhoods

If you think that libraries are obsolete with the Internet, think again. Libraries are all about giving free access to books, the Internet, culture, and community to those who need it most. For disadvantaged neighborhoods, libraries are critical.

Installing one there can help revitalize a neighborhood’s economy as it can act as a central retail and communication hub for commercial and communal events. Its free services can also be invaluable for helping lower-income children get the educational resources they need to succeed. With academic success can come greater economic opportunity, and it all starts at your local library.

Preserving Community Histories

A people without their history is a people who are lost. American history’s darkest chapters include attempts to eliminate certain people’s histories as a form of cultural ethnic cleansing. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that these histories live on. They are repositories of historical records and cultural artifacts, and many libraries host cultural events all year round.

Social Programs and Relief 

Libraries are often selected as areas where social programs and relief efforts take place. If a hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster hits a community, libraries are commonly used as centralized hubs for distributing aid and housing those affected.

Decorative Buildings

The best libraries are about form as much as function. Statues, marble, long columns, rich wooden reading rooms — we all need beauty in our lives, and libraries can bring a much-needed sense of aestheticism to a community.

Immigrant Assistance

For new arrivals to America, libraries can be one of the first friendly places in which they feel comfortable. Libraries offer English-speaking classes along with other foreign language courses, information on citizenship, government information, and more.

They may not seem like much to outsiders, but to those in the community for whom they mean everything, libraries are one of the most important buildings in the area and should be treated as such by their city planners.

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

What Does Library Leadership Look Like?


In most cases, leadership will look the same no matter what industry you find yourself in. However, there are some slight differences between varying fields. For instance, some leaders may have to take more hands-on roles than others. In the library industry especially, leadership is a sought-after skill in many candidates and existing employees. What exactly does library leadership look like, though? 

Commitment to Their Work

Despite what some people may believe about libraries, the daily life of a library leader is often very busy. What keeps these leaders going each day is their commitment to their work, no matter how tiring it can become. Any leader should have a special dedication to their work, but library leaders especially need to stay dedicated to their work. As the world becomes more digital, it is more important than ever for these individuals to reimagine how their establishment can continue being the cornerstone of their community.

Innovative Techniques

There is a reason libraries continue to exist among the digital world. The internet has been in existence for quite some time now and may have tempted many individuals to discontinue their use of libraries. However, libraries are still standing strong amongst this competition, and this is largely due to the innovative leadership qualities of their management teams. Wanting to keep the magic of libraries alive, library leaders have had to creatively seek out ways to spark interest in what they offer while also keeping up with digital trends. Because of the innovative techniques poured out by library leaders, libraries have found a way to compete with new technologies while also keeping their timeless appeal for the oldies at heart.

Community Involvement

One of the biggest ways that library leadership stands out from other types of business leaders is their community involvement. Libraries have always been an integral part of their communities. They’ve been a place for parents to spend time with their children, for students to grab research materials, for at-risk youth to find a safe space, and so much more. Libraries have always hosted incredible learning opportunities and community outreach programs. While many other business leaders consider becoming involved in the community in small ways, library leadership constantly requires a steady involvement with the community. This intentional approach is what is sought out in many library leaders and employees in order to maintain the library’s ability to empower others and change lives.

Librarian & Entrepreneurship

Making Your Library a Great Public Space


There is a terrible tendency of those outside the field of library service and studies to consider the field increasingly obsolete in the age of the Internet. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There are still many things that you can do to make sure that your library is and remains a great public space.

Community Assistance

The best libraries offer more than books. They are central nodes within the areas they serve, places where communities become “communities.” This can include everything from child care to income tax advice to university courses. Some even offer child care services. What after-school place for kids could be safer than a library?

Communication Assistance

Books represent a way of communicating with the past, and libraries allow myriad communication opportunities here in the present. Libraries can offer old TV and radio programs, and some have their own stations. In addition, some libraries offer translation programs, which can be invaluable if you need to have things translated for official purposes. They sometimes also offer foreign language and ESL classes.

Archived Info

History lives on in libraries. Old books, maps, periodicals, and other resources are ready to be examined for all your academic and cultural needs. What’s more, libraries often host cultural events, storytime for kids, traditional festivals, and much more.

Retail Hubs

Libraries are neutral and noncontroversial areas, which makes them perfect for people of different trades and walks of life to share the space and sell their wares. They are especially good for book or art markets and can also be a good place for farmers’ markets.

In addition, libraries offer WiFi, and for people who don’t have easy access to that themselves, this can be one of the few opportunities that they have to connect. This is another reason why they can be a good retail hub, allowing sellers to connect to free and fast Internet to facilitate sales.

Far from being obsolete, libraries at their best remain centers of learning and togetherness that can be the beating communal heart and intellectual and cultural lifeblood of a community.