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Michael, Employment Services
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Experience:  Employment Services Professional
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I am in the process of obtaining my masters in Library Science

Customer Question

I am in the process of obtaining my masters in Library Science with an expected graduation date of May 2016.
I have two questions:
First, I have been accepted for two internships this summer. One is more technical (but only 3 days a week) for a private company/organization. The second opportunity is a combination of technical and archival work (full week) and is for a presidential library. I am thinking of accepting the offer from the presidential library because it is a more prestigious position. However, the other position is more technical and will give me a more data-driven experience. What is more important on a resume? The prestige of where you have worked or the work you have done?
Also, I am looking at the job placement for Library Science positions and most of the ones I see ask for 1-2 years experience. How do I prepare for the job hunt while I am still in school? I am thinking of taking another internship and delaying my graduation. Do you have any other ideas?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Job
Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.
Congratulations first on obtaining your MLS and working toward graduation in 2016. Being in the library field for over 20+ years, I have seen changes in the technology as well as people wishing to have this as their career. The articles of libraries closing as well as librarians out of jobs are just not happening as the public has come to use libraries in large amounts.
As for the two internships you have been offered this summer, both offer a wealth of opportunity to add to your resume and experience. While both it seems offers technical work, the presidential internship offers the chance to experience archival work. In this case, I would agree with you that taking the presidential library work would be the one to take. It offers both the technical aspect that libraries are looking for (cataloging as well as web and database work) while giving you the taste of archival work if you wish to follow that type of work in the future. This job then gives you the added experience of just having technical experience.
You can prepare for the job hunt by continuing to gain experience while in school by working at either your college and/or public library in any position that is available. I would look for part-time work to expand your experience so that you do not have to delay graduation. Having the part-time experience will help when you enter the workforce.
I have worked with many recent graduates from library school and many do not have any job experience so just having some internships as well as part-time work under your belt will give you the edge over your other classmates.
Also join various library associations such as ALA (American Library Association) as they offer a wealth of information for those getting into the library field.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

WIth the good comes the bad.. I am so happy on the internships I did not read the fine print. It says that there is no vacations for the 10 week duration.. My problem is that I am in a wedding party for my best friend about 2 weeks after the internship starts. I don't believe that it is a vacation. I just need 2 days off a thursday and friday. I am willing to do anything to make up the 2 days..

The question I have is when I should talk to them about it. Before I start, the first day I start or wait until it gets closer to the wedding date.

Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.
Honesty is the best policy as I am sure you agree. Letting the company know that you have had this event planned for sometime and that you would like to request the two days off. I would agree that this is not something that would be considered a vacation. Telling them right away shows that you are honest and that letting them understand that you can work extra hours to make up the 2 days is demonstrating you are a good worker who can be counted on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I posted a question a few months ago about a summer internship at the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park. I have been currently invited to complete an internship at the Library and Research Services of the Executive Office of the President in Washington. D.C. I am concerned that when I try to get a job after graduation, I will be restricted to government jobs. In the past, I have volunteered as a cataloger at my local archives, created metadata for archival collections at the FDR Presidential Library and now I will be creating metadata for archival collections at the EOP.

I have been told me that the more experience that I get in libraries, the easier it will be to get a job. However, I would like a job in an academic or public library in NJ or NY, but I have been having difficulty securing internships in these types due to my lack of professional experience.

However, because I do not have professional academic library experience, I have had trouble securing an internship in an academic library. So far, I have volunteered as a cataloger in my local archives as well as interned at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library where I worked on some data projects as well as digital processing and creating metadata for archival collections. I was also recently given the opportunity to intern at the Library and Research Services of the Executive Office of the President in Washington D.C. At this internship, I will be cataloging archival items as well helping the team write proposals for a digital management system. While this is a great opportunity, I fear I am walking further away from working as a cataloger in an academic library.

Are the two internships that I will be completing going to help me get the job I want or am I making a mistake? Also, I would like to get a job in the NJ/NY area. Any advice on how I can network while I am interning that could help me?

Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.
You have had a number of fantastic opportunities working in the Federal Government as taking what you have learned in each of these positions and including them in your resume would be the way to go to get an interview with any academic institution. While it is true that the more experience can offer opportunities, your experience working within high ranking offices can open more doors than just working in a public library cataloging for example. My suggestion first would be to mention what department you worked in within the government but then emphasise the various jobs you were given (data projects, digital processing etc). Expanding what you have done in each of these jobs will have the interviewer most interested and wishing to call you in for an interview. Emphasising the cataloging within your work will help in opening doors for interviews as any employer will not be so concerned that it was in the government and not an academic position.I would accept the internships as this will offer great opportunities for when you apply for cataloging positions in the future.In terms of networking, look of course at sites such as Linkedin for people and groups in the NYC area. Also be sure to join organizations such as ALA as well as SLA which has a large academic side to it.