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ALA Think Tank

Question I'm a middle manager in a large public library system. I love my staff and community. The library has a new director and her internal customer service leaves much to be desired- every task is urgent, she barks orders and is threatened by questions. I try talking to colleagues and they say they're keeping their heads down. Any suggestions on how to make positive change?

Anonymous Asked ALATT

I have a social media account that includes the institution I went to grad school at and currently work at. I’ll need to leave soon, and wondering what peoples thoughts are on changing screennames when it no longer reflects our employer. On a advice note for others - don’t let your job define you, and be independent of your institution unless you want to die there. (but you never know with budget cuts)


Question I work in a for-profit college environment. I took the job 2.5 years ago after a period of unemployment. I didn't plan on staying this long, but haven't been able to get many interviews since I started looking. I feel like there are a lot of negative feelings toward for-profit colleges (for good reasons); Is this experience bad for my resume and what can I do about it?

Question I'm a tenure-track academic librarian looking for a new job in a more financially stable institution. I just got a second-round (face-to-face) interview, but I haven't yet told my supervisor that I'm applying elsewhere. I'm worried about it. What's the best way to break the bad news?

Question I am recently graduated and have landed a position as the head of a department in a public library. There are things that are new to me, so I use virtual networks like this to glean from the experience. I also like to use these types of groups to get feedback on my ideas. This networking however mostly take place during working hours. Can this be seen as taking away from my professional duties as head??? Also because I am new, can asking question to groups like this put me in a negative light?

today’s q?

Question If a job advertisement gives a range of salary, does that mean there is room to negotiation? If so, how do you go about doing that? Anything to keep in mind when doing this so you don’t negotiate yourself out of the job?


Question I work at a small public library,15 ppl on staff-One coworker (circ) clearly has a drinking problem-She reeks of alcohol,has mood swings,comes to work late,takes long lunches&breaks,goes out to her car a lot(most likely to drink)&is often rude/cranky to patrons-We've all made these observations/conclusions on our own-Someone finally told Director,who is non-confrontational&lets SOME ppl get away with stuff-Director now knows we all know&has done nothing-This has been going on 10+yrs-What now?


Question Is it alright to apply for a job when pregnant? If so, when should you disclose that you are pregnant? During the interview? When they offer you the job? After you get it?

seems like an easy yes, but the other questions are interesting.

Question There have been resignations at my POW. I've been told by administration to contact a former on-call staff to offer a position. This former employee recently graduated, accepted a full-time position, and moved to a different city. As awkward as it was, I emailed the person as told. There was no response to the email. Now, the telephone number has been given to me to call the person. Advice is needed how to tactfully tell my superiors to move on and post the position. Thanks.


Question Say you're a tenure-track librarian and after a few years, you've discovered lots of big systemic problems at your institution and no longer want to earn tenure there. When is the right time to tell your supervisor and/or the head of the library that you're looking elsewhere?