It should come as no surprise that libraries and librarians are in a state of reinventing themselves in today’s ever changing world of higher education. However, we are not the only ones and as Steven Bell* points out in this article in Library Journal, that fact may provide opportunities for creative collaboration.
In Career Services and Academic Libraries: A Good Fit | From the Bell Tower Steven argues convincingly that librarians share a common goal with career service professionals in providing support services to students as those students enter an increasingly competitive job market. Admittedly, the role career services can play seems obvious. But what about the library? Where does it come in – and how can these two services work together?
As Steven notes, getting the edge in a successful job search depends on one key ingredient, reliable information. The more an applicant knows about a prospective employer and the state of their business and their overall industry, the better prepared they will be in making an impression leading to that first job offer. Librarians can be a big help in this regard. They can guide students in developing a research strategy using superior sources above and beyond what they will find on their own. But for librarians that initial contact with job seeking students can be a challenge, hence the natural tie in with career services. The obvious implication is that career services can collaborate with librarians assisting them in reaching out to these students in “a true win-win” fulfilling service goals for both agencies. And according to Steven with both libraries and career services seek to reinvent themselves, now maybe the ideal time for them to be part of each other’s vision for the future.
Steven also touches on what he sees as larger parallels between the library and career services but we’ll let you read about that for yourselves. Suffice it to say that this is a thought provoking article that makes one consider collaboration and a changing dynamic between the library and another campus wide service. It also leads one to wonder where else the library might create win-win coalitions on campus.
*We’re delighted to note that Steven will be one of our plenary speakers at the 2013 Charleston Conference
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.