Making the Most of Your Library Career, Lois Stickell and Bridgette Sanders, American Library Association, 2013, 9780838911860, 49.00
By Angiah Davis
Editors Lois Stickell and Bridgette Sanders, University of North Carolina Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, begin the Preface of this book with the following: "This is the book we wish had existed when we started our library careers" (p. vii). This book provides useful information, particularly to those who are new to the profession or seeking to maximize their potential in librarianship.
Making the Most of Your Library Career is organized into 10 short chapters offering lessons learned and practical take-away tips for readers, as book contributors give insight into their personal journeys of librarianship. These stories of career development contribute to one's awareness of the challenges he or she may encounter when beginning a new position or working as a librarian in general. The book explains how to turn these challenges into opportunities using real life examples. These real life examples help the reader relate to the authors and put into perspective the situation on hand. Whether beginning a career search, or already possessing some professional experience, one will gain knowledge on various topics such as interviewing, adjusting to the work environment, and more.
Read the book in parts or as a whole, but all LIS students and new library professionals will find "First Impressions" and "Professional Associations and You" valuable. Information professionals with a few years of experience may find "Assessing the Job" and "Life Cycle of a Librarian's Year" more beneficial.
Some surprising chapters that may be of interest to readers include: "A View From the Top" where readers discover what library directors are seeking in a job candidate; "Developing a Plan B" for those who may need to explore other career options other than the traditional librarian role; and "What if the Job Doesn't Work Out" for those who have determined that their current workplace is not the right fit.
While this book is helpful, there are some things that a book cannot teach you. "Making the Most" can certainly serve as a guide on how to handle certain challenges that may arise and is recommended for LIS students and new to mid-level professionals as a timely and relevant resource.
Angiah Davis is a librarian at Georgia Perimeter College.