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Embedded Information Professionals

In his landmark work regarding embedded librarianship, David Shumaker (The Embedded Librarian) has identified an emerging model for special librarianship, one based on a central corporate library or information center that has one or more of its librarians “embedded” in – and working as part of – operational units rather than being located in the library.

However, a related but as yet fairly undefined career path is also evolving, one where librarians who were staff in an existing corporate library are moved into embedded information positions when the corporate library is dissolved. In this case, the librarian is essentially “untethered” from any internal library facility (or resources), creating a very different working dynamic.

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Only Connect

With apologies to E. M. Forster, “only connect” has been occupying a lot of brain space for me lately as I look back on two years of managing the LinkedIn LIS Career Options group. What I had launched as part of an SLA conference presentation, assuming it might grow to (perhaps?) 35 or 50 people, has become a forum for 3,685 members from over 50 countries engaging in over 450 discussion topics.

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The Permanent-Beta Career

I’m trying to figure out how to start off a blog post when I’ve been missing in action for months (good grief, was my last post really November 27th???). Yep, that would be about the time that I was going all-out to finish up my manuscript (LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career, Libraries Unlimited, to be released in late fall this year). Then it was the holidays, and then I basically just decided to read and think and reflect. (Is there a better way to spend winter?)

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When You’ve Really Messed Up….

The longer you work, sooner or later it’s going to happen to you: the major mess-up. You did something that was the result of perhaps not quite paying attention, missing a major detail, skipping a step in a work process to beat a deadline, or figuring that it wouldn’t really make that much difference if you just relied on someone else’s information rather than verifying it for yourself. The result: a classic screw up, the kind that’s going to be embarrassing at best, send your boss through the roof at worst.

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What Was I Thinking?? How to Protect Your Online Professional Brand

Everybody has lapses in judgment now and then – usually in the company of friends, loud music, and a multitude of alcoholic beverages.  But not until the advent of social media sites did those momentary lapses in judgment have the possibility of wreaking long-lasting damage on your job prospects and career. So now’s the time to make sure you’re avoiding any of these career-busting social media “bad ideas”:

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Asking to Connect on LinkedIn? Don’t Default to the Defaults

Two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.

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Building Your Network on LinkedIn? How to Ask for Links and Recommendations

At a recent workshop given by Scott Brown and me for the UCLA LIS students, one of the topics of highest interest was how to use LinkedIn, and for good reason: two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.

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Build Your Professional Equity

This has been a great year for conversations about “equity” – political equity, financial equity (or not), social equity.

From a conceptual standpoint, equity refers to how much investment you’ve built for a given asset, which might be your political reputation and influence, the value of your home relative to your mortgage, or the amount of standing and influence you have in your community of choice.

From a career standpoint, professional equity is a combination of the job skills, expertise, and experience you’ve accumulated, the relationships you’ve developed, and the reputation you’ve built so far in your career.

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Defending the MLIS: Top Ten Reasons That Getting an MLIS is a Really Smart Move

Recently I’ve been part of a discussion taking part in the classroom, on the LIS Career Options LinkedIn group, and among LIS friends and colleagues about how to respond to people who bash others’ decisions to pursue an MLIS. Some of the variations:

• You need a master’s degree to work in a library?
• You’ll never get a job (or one that pays anything)
• It’s stupid to go to graduate school at your age
• What on earth are you going to do with that?
• Are there even go to be libraries anymore?
• Why would you need a degree in that, everything’s on the Internet!

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