Conference Workshops and Activities

ALA JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center 

ALA 2019 Midwinter Meeting

Career Development Workshops and Other Activities

Seattle, Washington

January 26 - 27, 2019



Note: Conference registration is NOT required to go to the Placement Center, to use Placement services, or to attend any workshop that is held in the Placement Center. All services and sessions are free (unless otherwise noted).  All events and activities are held in the Placement Center (unless otherwise noted).


JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center Hours

Saturday & Sunday
January 26 - 27, 2019

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.



Saturday, January 26, 2019
9:00 a.m.
 - 9:30 a.m.

This orientation is intended for people who are not familiar with the ALA JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center. We will walk around the Center and discuss the available services and activities. Both employers and job seekers are welcome to attend. Staff will be available to answer your questions.


Career Counseling

Saturday, January 26, 2019; 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, January  27, 2019; 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Recharge your career by meeting with a professional career coach. She can guide you in strategizing for the next phase of your career, solving a problem in your current job situation, defining goals, and/or rejuvenating your career. Each one-on-one session is 20 minutes, and is completely confidential.

If you have never experienced career counseling, or just haven't used this type of service in a long time, this is the perfect opportunity to either introduce yourself to or reacquaint yourself with a service that can be useful throughout your career. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with a knowledgeable professional about your career concerns. This service is free and available whenever the Placement Center is open.

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You also have the option of going to the Placement Center on-site to sign-up for a time slot. However, appointments go quickly, so consider signing up in advance using the online sign-up form.


On-the-Fly Mentoring

Saturday, 9:00am - 12:00pm
and Sunday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Looking for some professional guidance and advice while at the ALA Annual Conference? If so, you should stop by the Placement Center for the ACRL - University Libraries Section's "On-the-Fly" Mentoring to talk with an experienced librarian about any and all aspects of your career. Mentoring sessions are available by appointment and on a first-come, first-served drop-in basis.

Open House/Job Fair  small gold star with a smiling face in the middle

Sunday, January 27, 2019
9:00am - 10:30am   NEW TIME
Location: Placement Center

Employers will be available to talk to conference attendees about their institutions. You do not have to be an active job seeker to attend. Conference attendees can feel free to walk around and talk to employers. No appointment necessary. See the Recruiters at Conference page to see the participating employers. Employers who want to participate should send an email to: using the text 'Open House' as the subject line. There is no cost to participate.


Photography Service

Saturday & Sunday
January 26 - 27, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

An exciting service is now part of the Placement Center. The ALA JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center offers all attendees the opportunity to have a "headshot" photo package created. Any attendee can sign-up for an appointment with ALA's conference photography team to have a professional photo taken and set of digital images created for the attendees' use in job applications, social media and other networking opportunities. Sign-up now.

Photos will be taken in the Center on Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Appointments can be made in advance and onsite. For advance appointments, use the online sign-up form.

There is a nominal fee of $20 which can be paid either in advance with a check or money order, or onsite with cash, money order or check only. All advance payments must be received by Friday, June 4, 2019.

To pay in advance, complete the registration form and mail it along with payment made payable to the American Library Association to the following address: ALA/HRDR, c/o  Placement Photo Service, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

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Resume Review Service

Saturday & Sunday
January 26 - 27, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

If you need help getting your resume polished, stop by the Center while you are at conference. Come and discover the best way to show your most recent accomplishments with an updated resume.

The NMRT Resume Review Service Committee offers free resume reviews in the Placement & Career Development Center. In order to best accommodate the demand, resume reviews are conducted by appointment. Appointments will be taken on-site, but we strongly encourage those interested to sign-up now for an appointment. Appointments tend to book up quickly.


Career Development Workshops (CDW)

Listed below are the sessions that will be held in the ALA JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center (unless otherwise noted). There is no cost to attend. Registration is not required. Please return to this page often, as more details will be added as we get closer to the conference.



9:30 - 10:30 a.m.
The Key to Getting Interviews: Great Cover Letters and Resumes

You can’t show the hiring manager what a perfect fit you are for that job you really want if you can’t get an interview.  Effective cover letters and resumes can be the key to getting your foot in the door.  Come to this session to get tips from someone who reviews cover letters and resumes on a daily basis, a human resource director.  Bring your resume and be prepared to leave with ideas for polishing your resume and cover letters so that you can start getting those interviews.

About the Presenter:  

Dan Hoppe is the Associate Executive Director, Human Resources at the American Library Association. Dan has over 18 years of experience working in human resources. He has worked in a variety of settings including start-ups, a Fortune 150 Company and county government.


11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
How to Become Opportunity Minded & Grow Your Career Right Now!

Interested in growing your career from wherever you are right now? You can do it if you’re opportunity minded! Whether you’re a new grad excited about your first professional role, a mid-career professional feeling a bit stuck, or a near-retirement library or information services worker looking for new possibilities, there are more options for growth than you may be aware of. Join us to learn how to spot career opportunities, choose the best ones for yourself, and then turn these opportunities into a reality. We’ll look at practical strategies, try out helpful tools and start building a growth plan you can put into use immediately. Come and explore all the ways you can learn to be opportunity minded!

About the Presenter

Caitlin Williams, PhD, is an author, speaker, and career counselor. She has spent the last thirty years working in career development through writing, speaking, coaching, and teaching. Caitlin has had the honor of conducting career coaching for ALA attendees at its twice-yearly conferences since 2000. She has also presented and contributed numerous articles and podcasts to ALA. She has written two previous books on career and workplace topics (one title has been translated into Korean).


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Soft Skills: What Library School Does Not Teach You

I learned the basics of cataloging. I took classes on providing information services. I can mine databases for information. All of these things I learned in library school. But what about the soft skills you don’t get from the classroom and can only learn on the job? In this session, you’ll find out about the knowledge, skills and abilities they don’t teach in school that can help prepare you to be an even better librarian.

About the Presenter

Melissa Lockaby, a Collection Management Librarian with the University of North Georgia, has experience in both public and academic libraries. Starting a career in Human Resources which transitioned into HR Information Systems, she decided to make a career change and found a home in libraries. Supervising librarians, teaching students, and serving on hiring committees, Melissa is interested in supporting librarians who are looking for their first job or those who want to find a new career path in libraries. She holds an MPA from the University of Arkansas and an MSLIS from Drexel University.


2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Manage Your Stress and Start Living a Healthier Life Today

Join us for this interactive session where we will discuss signs of stress and how it impacts your body and mental health. You will walk away with stress reduction techniques that you will be able to use immediately. Leave feeling refreshed and prepared to meet challenges in healthier, more productive ways.

Presenter: Caitlin Williams, Ph.D. [See bio info above.]


4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Mastering the Interview: Visualizing Your Path Forward

Congratulations! You’ve got an interview… now what? During this interactive workshop, we will look at what to expect when interviewing at different types of libraries: academic, special, and public. We'll discuss both remote and in-person interviews, and talk about the importance of doing your research, preparing questions for your interviewers, and following up after the interview. We will practice introductions, answering questions, and telling others about ourselves. We will discuss the benefits of building self-awareness and visualizing your destination. And finally, we will employ activities and prompts to help you cultivate your own professional practice, at any stage of your career.

About the Presenters: Susanne Markgren and Linda Miles

Susanne Markgren is the Assistant Director of the Library for Technical Services at Manhattan College, in Riverdale, NY. She has worked in libraries (academic, public, and special) for more than twenty years, and has written articles, book reviews, essays, and chapters for a variety of publications. Her co-authored book, Career Q&A: A Librarian’s Real-Life, Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career, came out in 2013. She received her MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin, and her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College.

Linda Miles is an Assistant Professor and Librarian at Hostos Community College – City University of New York. Recent publications include “Egalitarian Teams in Action: Organizing for Library Initiatives” (Urban Library Journal), and a contribution to Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library. Linda received her MLS from St. John’s University, and her PhD in theatre history and criticism from the University of Texas at Austin.



1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Professional Etiquette 101

There are times—nearly every day—when you have to make a choice of whether to use good etiquette or possibly risk embarrassment. Good manners can mean the difference between success and failure in many aspects of life. This interactive presentation will equip you with essential skills to help you put your best foot forward and avoid making a faux pas. The session focuses on professional etiquette as it relates to dining, dress/appearance (for job interviews, business receptions, etc.), behavior and communications in the professional world. We will provide an extensive tutorial on etiquette skills needed when meeting potential employers, colleagues, or others in professional and social networking settings.

It does not matter if you are a student, a new graduate, or a professional who has been working for years. The information provided in this session will be useful either as an introduction or a refresher. Everyone who attends can benefit.

This event is complimentary. Registration required. Register early, as seating is limited. To register for this event, you should use the ALA Midwinter registration form. If you have already registered, you may add it to your registration. Use event code: HRD1.

About the Presenters: Beatrice Calvin and Kimberly Redd

Beatrice Calvin is the manager for professional development in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) and the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). She holds a master’s degree in counseling and is a certified career development facilitator. She has written numerous articles in her role as editor of Library Worklife.

Kimberly Redd, Program Manager for Certification & Talent Development has worked for the American Library Association for over 30 years. She has a masters’ in Hospitality Management from Roosevelt University in Chicago.


3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
It’s All About You: The Interview

You’ve impressed them with your résumé, and you’ve got the job interview. Now what? Where you studied for tests and prepped for meetings, you can also prepare for your interview. Find out how to answer tricky questions, how to present yourself in person and online, and what you can do to before the interview. Remember, it’s all about you as long as you make it all about the job.

Presenter: Melissa Lockaby [See bio info above.]



For more information on the ALA JobLIST Placement & Career Development Center activities, send an email to:


This page is maintained by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR).


Last revised Dec, 10, 2018