Looking for a great way to connect with information professionals around the world? (Well, besides being a member of this group!) You’ll have an amazing opportunity to do just that this November by participating in the first library-focused worldwide virtual conference, to be held online, in multiple time zones over the course of two days.
Hosted by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University, the conference will be free for all attendees. Conference co-chairs Steve Hargadon and Dr. Sandy Hirsch, SLIS Director, are encouraging the broadest possible range of ideas and geographic representation in the call for proposals, currently open.
Over the years, I’ve read pretty much everything I could get my hands on written by Dr. James Matarazzo about corporate libraries . Dean Emeritus and Professor of Library and Information Science at Simmons, Dr. Matarazzo has long been considered the expert on the organization, management, and valuation of corporate libraries, as well as on the future of corporate librarianship.
Which is why I was so jazzed to be able to attend the “Corporate Library in Turbulent Times” presentation given by Toby Pearlstein (formerly with Bain & Co.) and Jim Matarazzo at the 2011 SLA conference. Based on a series of articles in Searcher magazine the two have written (see below), the presentation focused on how information professionals in corporate libraries can proactively identify warning signs that their library – or their jobs – are in jeopardy, and then take steps to act from a position of strength.
One of the most rewarding career paths open to LIS pros is working for LIS vendors; it can be a great way to redeploy both your specific skills and your knowledge of the LIS market. Your knowledge and job experience will be a valuable asset, and depending on the company you work for, you may have a wide range of growth opportunities.
Although you may feel you don’t have the personality for sales (although if you do, there’s some serious money to be made here), there are numerous other roles to play. These could include marketing, market research, account management, product development, external market communications (social/digital media), information/content development and/or management, indexing and abstracting, taxonomy work, customer product training, competitive intelligence research, and user testing, among other roles.
By now, you’ve probably heard about building your professional brand maybe, oh, I don’t know, 400 times a day. It’s like eating kale: you know it’s the right thing to do, but where do you start?
Happily, there are some great books out there on how to build your professional brand. Although none are specific to the LIS profession, almost all have key points that are easily adapted to any type of career path. Based on my own experience, an informal survey of colleagues, and student responses from my University of Denver “Alternative LIS Career Paths” course, the following titles provide the reliably actionable (if occasionally over-hyped) information: