LIS Career Sourcebook

Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career

by G. Kim Dority


Like most industries in a volatile economy, the field of library and information science faces constant change, prompting those new to the profession—as well as established professionals—to question which career route will offer the greatest opportunity. This book guides users to the information resources that will help them to make smart career choices.

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Cover image for LIS Career Sourcebook

October 2012

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 246
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Librarianship: Philosophy, Values, and Issues/LIS Profession

A must-have guide of professional development resources for library staff at every phase of their career—from those just entering the field, to paraprofessionals building a career trajectory, to seasoned librarians looking to explore additional career options.

Thousands of students graduate with a Master of Library and Information Science degree every year. Unfortunately, budget cuts at libraries diminish available job opportunities and prompt administrators to hire less qualified—and less expensive—professionals. However, armed with the right information, library science professionals can successfully build and sustain a resilient library and information science (LIS) career inside—or outside—the traditional library setting.

LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career provides a chapter-by-chapter overview of key career stages and strategies, and identifies for each the best information resources to help readers develop a successful LIS career. The author lays out the typical stages that workers are likely to encounter as they move through their professional life, highlighting important issues associated with each stage and providing insights and resources for making smart career choices along the way. Covering the entire career lifespan from entry level to retirement, the resources cited will help readers make informed choices about career options, professional development, and personal career satisfaction.


  • A career lifecycle approach to building a career in the library and information sciences field
  • Practical guidance and resources for every stage of a career
  • Resource annotations detail the importance of a particular source
  • A comprehensive list of resources for further reading


  • Offers practical strategies for creating a rewarding career path
  • Addresses topics such as creating a professional brand, building a professional network, and job hunting
  • Explores alternative career paths, including entrepreneurship, and describes the information resources available to support those career choices
  • Identifies hundreds of the best topical information resources, both print and online, that readers can immediately turn to as they encounter career transition points and opportunities
  • Broadens the universe of best-in-class knowledge to encompass resources from the LIS field, as well as from other relevant disciplines
Author Info

G. Kim Dority is the founder and president of Dority & Associates, an information consulting and content development company. Additionally, Dority teaches a course in alternative library and information science career paths at the University of Denver, CO. She is the author of Rethinking Information Work: A Career Guide for Librarians and Other Information Professionals and a blog entitled Infonista.

Table of Contents

ContentsAcknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: The LIS Career UniverseFraming Your Career Options Who Needs What Information? Exploring Your Career Options Resources Chapter 2: LIS Education OptionsDo You Need an MLIS? Finding an MLIS Program Evaluating MLIS Programs What about Online Programs and iSchools? What Courses to Take Financial Aid Sources Does Getting an MLIS Make Sense? 5Resources Chapter 3: LIS Job HuntingDecide on Potential Job Opportunities/Career Paths Research the Relevant Job Market(s) Understand Your Value Proposition Polish Your Job-Hunting Tools (E-Portfolios, Resumes, and Cover Letters) Build Your Professional Brand Online before Applying for Jobs Launch Your Job Search Interviewing and Negotiating Should New Grads Take Non-LIS Jobs? Temping as an Interim Job Solution Resources Chapter 4: Start Your Career off RightCommunicating Effectively Becoming an Effective Team Player Responding Positively to Change Getting Things Done Staying Professionally Current Importance of Self-Leadership to Your Career Resources Chapter 5: LearningWhat Will You Need to Learn?How and Where Will You Learn? Finding Your Learning Path ResourcesChapter 6: Building Your Professional NetworkWhat Is a Professional Network? Building and Sustaining Your Professional Community Introverted? You Can Still Build a Network Still a Student? Start Building Your Network in Grad School Networking Strategy Benefits of a Professional Network Resources Chapter 7: Establishing Your Professional BrandKey Characteristics of a Professional Brand Career Branding, Social Media, and Introverts Building Your Brand in Grad School Why Your Professional Brand Is Really Important to Your Career Resources Chapter 8: ManagingWhat Is Management? Management InsightsKey Management Challenges Resources Chapter 9: LeadingDefinition of Leadership Becoming a Leader—The Outside Perspective Becoming a Leader—The LIS Perspective Gender/Gen-Y Frames and LeadershipResources Chapter 10: Going the Independent RouteTypes of Independent Work Is Being an Independent for You?Ways to Approach Independent Work Questions to Consider before You Leap Creating Additional Revenue Streams From Solo to Small Business (and Everything in Between) ResourcesChapter 11: Transition Points: Finding Opportunity in ChangeTaking a Career Time-out Relocating Your Career Moving into a New LIS Career Opportunity or IndustryWhen Your Career Change Is a Layoff Retiring—Or NotExploring New Directions Resources Appendix: ALA, CLA, and SLA Groups Index

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Other Titles of Interest

Mastering Subject Specialties cover imageDemystifying eResearch cover imageSubject Access to Information cover image
Enhancing Library and Information Research Skills cover imageMultilingual Access and Services for Digital Collections cover imageTransdisciplinarity Revealed cover image

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