Tag Archives: On the Job Training

[On the Job Training]: The First Publishing Experience (Or, Using Graduate School Work for a Higher Purpose)

This month, we’re thrilled to have five archivists talk about how they published in journals for the first time. While the majority were able to use papers from their graduate school coursework, Jarrett rounds out the article with a different path: reviews. If you’re interested in publishing and haven’t read Cheryl Oestreicher’s blog, Publishing in the Archives Profession, it’s a wonderful resource that I highly recommend.

Each archivist’s path to a published article is different. There are two who won awards (one from SAA, one from SNCA), one who published more traditionally, one who published in a trade journal, and of course, one who started publishing by reviews.

The Traditional Route: Hillel Arnold
A Sign of Contradiction: The Record Keeping Practices of the New York City Catholic Worker, American Catholic Studies 121:2 (Summer 2010)

I consider myself very lucky to have published during grad school, for a number of reasons. Primarily, I was fortunate to land in a program that required and valued substantial writing assignments. I was also very lucky to have an excellent advisor and mentor in my program’s director Peter Wosh, who gave me invaluable guidance on shaping my research, as well as suggestions on journals where it might be appropriate.

I went into grad school with the goal of having one publication by the time I finished, so I was looking for opportunities to turn class papers into a publishable article, and my Masters thesis seemed like the perfect opportunity. If you’re interested in publishing (which, it should be noted, is not absolutely necessary in archives) the best advice I can give you is to approach your academic assignments with an eye to repurposing that content in some way. In other words, start thinking about what and where to publish sooner rather than later, and use the expertise of established scholars around you to help navigate the process. Continue reading

[On the Job Training]: Networking for All Personality Types

Guest author: Jennifer Sharp
ILS Database Administrator at Hartford Public Library and Vice Chair, PLASC Roundtable

Recently I was spectating at a half marathon. As the field of racers made its way past my viewing spot, I saw one runner who looked significantly different from the rest. His legs were molded titanium. In awe, I let out a cheer for him. He was a clear example of the difference between not wanting to do something, and not being able to do something. Many people, and certainly not just archivists, see networking as a chore. It is something they don’t want to do, rather than something they are unable to do. Regardless of whether networking is something you want to do, something you enjoy doing, or something you rank up there with certain types of dental work, it is very often one of the keys to success in your career. If a guy with three prosthetic limbs (an arm, as well) can run 13.1 miles, you can certainly learn to network with minimal discomfort.

At the beginning of the race, I was watching with a woman who has run numerous long distance courses. She pointed out to me that every runner has a different gait, their own style. The same holds true for networking. Overall (to use a common analogy), your career is a marathon, not a sprint. It will have a start and a finish, but the exact steps we take over the years, and how we take them, will vary. This is good! We are all individuals with different personalities, and while there are certain conventions most of us will follow, what makes the world interesting is that our gaits will vary. Continue reading

Introducing a new blog series: On the Job Training

One of the things I want for this community is a space where archivists beginning their careers and those of us who are still in grad school can find information that will benefit us as we enter the workforce. I have spent a lot of time looking at the blog’s analytics since taking on the position of coordinator, and the posts that seem to be constantly referred to, even years later, focus on employment questions.

I regularly read Hiring Librarians, and one common refrain from employers is that too many new hires and interviewees don’t have “soft skills.” That’s such a buzz word. What does it even mean? When is it ever defined for us in our graduate programs? What other things are necessary for functioning – no, thriving – in a work environment that we’re expected to pick up on our own? I thought the SNAP Roundtable blog should invite some more seasoned archivists (or even those who have only a few years’ experience!) to share how they have developed their skills for the workplace and give some pointers on how we could work on our own.

The awesome Jennifer Sharp has written the inaugural post of the series for us, which will drop tomorrow. If you have a topic that you’d like covered – or if you’d like to cover a topic – please email me, and I will get to work on making it happen!

Holly Croft