Tuesday, January 16, 2007

ALA News

As I noted yesterday, not much exciting silliness in store for ALA attendees in Seattle. A kind soul did send me the SRRT "Action Council" agenda. It looks like they're going to impeach the President on Saturday morning. That should be fun. Somehow with all the ordinary trouble President Bush has right now, I don't think he'll be paying much attention to the SRRT. They just don't have the political clout of the ALA Council proper.

Speaking of, the ALA Council should be exciting. Leslie Burger will lead a "Hot Topic Discussion" on "How to Make Serving on the ALA Council More Attractive." They have ten whole minutes set aside, so it should be a good one. Wish I could be there!

So it looks like my ALA report after Midwinter will just concern my dining and drinking agenda, which promises already to be enjoyable.


Anonymous said...

Survey: Curvature as a Predictor of Beverage Preference: The Slender Don't Do Blender.

Abstract: Rigorous multivariate cross-correlated polling data collected in multiple micro-geographic locales determined the propensity of a librarian to imbibe in a MudslideTM as opposed to a classic cocktail based on bottom roundness. Bayesian probability and non-linear regression models are used to create a...wait for it...posterior density value.


Anonymous said...

Be sure to visit the Pike Place Market and watch the fishmongers throw salmon among themselves and a few of the sustomers.

Alane said...

So, I guess your pseudonymous status means we won't see you at our Blogger Salon on Saturday evening? Mind you, there won't be martinis available.

thelibrarygirl said...

Please report if anything good does come out of the midwinter conference. I speak for several first year MLIS students who read regularly who are in serious need for positive information. We have all hit the second term slump.

Dances With Books said...

Taupey: Dang, that just sounds like some article I may have read recently.

AL: Making service in Council more attractive? Maybe they should try to use a clone of the classic conference presentation, "25 (or 50) Hot Websites You need to know about" deal.

Have fun at Midwinter.

AL said...

Taupey, I just read that article, too. I think it was in College & Research Libraries. I'll certainly visit Pike Place Market, but if they throw salmon on me, I hope it doesn't get on my shoes.

And you're probably right, Alane, I don't think I'll be at the Blogger Salon. I'm not sure I would be that popular, anyway, at least among some folks.

I'll do what I can, but I can report now that probably nothing good, or particularly bad, will come out of the Midwinter conference. Conferences are just ways for people to get away from their libraries for a few days and maybe see old friends. I've done a lot of work over the years, and know many others who have, and for the most part it's all trivial and unnecessary. Just part of the self-justifying machine. But some people might say I'm too cynical.

shade said...

When you're done with the fish, there's a Fluevog store up the street. : )

JD said...

I've noticed you've posted a lot about the job shortage in libraries lately (though not in this post). Could you help the newbies out by posting this: http://www.higheredjobs.com/search/details.cfm?JobCode=175213271

I'm on the search committee for the position, and we're having trouble attracting new candidates. The job is entry level, and we encourage new librarians who are curious about life in Las Vegas to apply.


Anonymous said...

Hey JD. How many applicants do you have already? Do you have an application in hand from a librarian who can grow into the position? Hire them. Don't wait for an application from someone who has already done the same job somewhere else.

AL said...

I'm hesitant to post anything on the main level of the blog about this, because I only post "jobs that suck," and this doesn't qualify. I wouldn't want to associate your job with "library jobs that suck." Good luck, though.

Anonymous said...


You might have problems getting applicants because: "Position is contingent upon funding."
You want me to submit my resume, interview in Vegas, and uproot my family for a position that isn't even funded yet?

Anonymous said...


Your problem is here:

"Salaries are competitive and dependent upon labor market."

That means you can approach your best candidate with a very low salary if you get lots of applications. I don't want to spend my precious time and energy applying for a position just to give you the power to screw the most qualified candidate.

This job has been unfilled for a long time, and there must be a reason for that. The administration might be stalling. The supervisor might be crazy. Any number of potential problems.

And what's with the preferred qualifications? The candidate doesn't need any of them to do the job well. Nix them from the ad. You're not going to get a Librarian IV for the price of a Librarian I.

The more I look at this job, the more I realize that it sucks. AL, is there any way you could take another look?

AL said...

Not sure I want to get involved in this dispute, but I think you're being too harsh on the ad. Except for the use of "dynamic" in the beginning, nothing strikes me as very out of place. The preferred qualifications sound right to me for a job like this, except perhaps the grant writing one. The "relevant ug degree" seems tame, actually, since having a degree in engineering or related field should almost be a required qualification.

I don't think the salary line is inappropriate either. I read it as trying to attract applicants who want more money, not just to screw the most qualified candidate. Though you do make a good point on that. Based on the specification that this is a tenure track assistant professor librarian job, the best candidates probably shouldn't apply, because they'll have years of experience and won't want to start that low.

One question is, does UNLV want the best candidate, or the best candidate willing to start as an assistant professor at asst prof pay? Two different things. I've had people want me for jobs, but who couldn't even match my current salary or weren't willing to bring someone in tenured. Doesn't really bother me, but it meant that on a couple of occasions, the library certainly didn't get the best candidate and had to settle for someone willing to settle for less.

janitorx said...

I thought the pd for the job at UNLV seemed fairly open. I totally agree with this idea:
Do you have an application in hand from a librarian who can grow into the position? Hire them. Don't wait for an application from someone who has already done the same job somewhere else.

In fact, we are in the midst of our second search for a reference librarian. The position is sort of entry-level. The person we are leaning towards has the least amount of experience, but shows the most potential.

In general, I am so sick of seeing the same positions reposted for over a year. I've also noticed access services positions tend to go unfilled. Good luck trying to find someone who managed circulation as a librarian. I never understood why these search committees won't go with someone who has potential to learn.