Q: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to make a career change into the library profession? I have my MSIS and much experience in human resources, but I want to make a change into something I am more passionate about…namely, working in a library. I am already volunteering at two special libraries. What else can I do to make myself more marketable? Is an internship my only choice? Thank you.
TA: The MLS and related experience working in libraries will make you a marketable candidate. Your experience in human resources could also be a real asset if marketed correctly in your application materials. You want to be careful and balanced with how you present your HR experience. On one hand, it gives you an advantage when it comes to the supervisory and management aspects of a professional position; on the other hand, you need to be careful that you’re not “pricing yourself out of the market.” So be sure to talk about your experience and the strengths you would bring to the position, but also make sure you’re framing your application as a career transition. Try to build on your volunteer experience to see if you can work yourself into a paid position–and experience that will build an attractive resume.