New Members Round Table sponsored two well-attended sessions at the annual WLA Conference in Appleton. The first, titled "Who Gets The Job and Why", had three diverse library managers with significant experience hiring employees discussing the job application process and offering tips for job-seeking librarians to rise to the top of applicant pools. The panelists were Kathy Schneider, Director of
WiLS; Peter Gilbert, University Librarian at Lawrence University's Seely G. Mudd Library; and Tasha Saecker, Director of the
Menasha Public Library. All offered excellent insights into the hiring process, which can be a bit of a mystery to those in the job hunt. There was ample time for a number of questions and the audience certainly had a lot of them. The wide-ranging discussion, I think, was helpful to those attendees with anxieties about the current job market and gave them a better understanding of how to approach future job opportunities.
The second session, "Networking is the Key", included four panelists and was moderated by the WLA's Lisa Strand, who also had much to offer to the discussion. The panelists included Pamela O'Donnell and Sheila Stoeckel, academic librarians at UW-Madison; Walter Burkhalter, Director of the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System; and Rhonda Puntney, Youth Services and Special Needs Consultant for the Lakeshores Library System. All have been heavily involved in the WLA and other organizations related to their specializations. They talked about the beneficial career relationships resulting from their involvement in their respective efforts and the challenges of balancing their work and volunteer obligations. These librarians offered those of us new to the profession something to model and showed us ways even new librarians can make a real difference. Thanks to all of our panelists and watch for future NMRT-sponsored events coming up soon!