Category Archives: Spotlight

Want More Satisfaction from Your Career? Consider this Perspective

By Caitlin Williams

Welcome to our first article in this year’s Library Worklife Spotlight series!  I’m excited to share our theme for this coming year with you. Here it is: YOUR CAREER IS A JOURNEY, NOT A SERIES OF STAND-ALONE JOBS!

Over the coming months, we’ll explore this theme together and I’ll share with you thought-provoking articles, actionable suggestions for trying out a new behavior or a new perspective, and self-reflection questions that can enhance your professional life – regardless Read the rest

Job Satisfaction and Workplace Engagement in Libraries

By Jason Martin, Ed.D.


Job satisfaction and workplace engagement play a large role in the healthy functioning of any organization, libraries included. These two factors influence productivity, workplace behavior, organizational citizenship and affective commitment (the attachment to, and identification with, a workplace). Affective commitment supersedes all other organizational factors – including pay – to create a deep loyalty to the organization. Job satisfaction and workplace engagement each influence the other. The more engaged someone is, the more satisfied they Read the rest

Polishing Your Soft Skills – A Fantastic Opportunity You May Be Missing

By Caitlin Williams. Ph.D.

Over the past ten months, we’ve been looking at the importance of soft skills.  We’ve also looked at how to use them to advance your career. Whether you’re just out of school or a late-career library worker – and whether you’re in job-seeking mode or you’re a long-term employee at your organization – putting soft skills to work for you can make a huge difference.

Yet, too often, many workers look instead to the latest technology Read the rest

It’s Summer – I’m Going Outside

By Beatrice Calvin, M. A. Counseling, CDF

In Chicago, we often joke that there are only two seasons: winter and summer. It’s finally summer! During this season we tend to slow down. Many of us find more time to be with family and friends. We relax a little more than usual and allow ourselves not to feel as stressed about what’s going on around us. 

As a counselor, I often advise others to practice self-care and to find effective ways Read the rest

Will We Ever Get What We Deserve? Not Unless We Ask!

By Jenifer Grady

Is it acceptable that a library director, let’s call her Anne, who manages two branches makes a lower salary than the “lady who runs the bulldozer?” I met Anne when I was asked to revive a negotiation training for small public library Directors who did not have Master’s degrees in Library Science. Coming back to an issue that was my passion confirmed to me that tried-and-true methods still deliver, and that there are always new lessons to Read the rest

Teamwork: The Perfect Place to Practice Your Soft Skills

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Welcome back, everyone! Over the past six months, we’ve looked at a definition of soft skills, why they are so crucial in the workplace, how you can polish them to help in your job search and interviews, and how they can make a huge difference in your everyday interactions with colleagues.

Now it’s time to take an even broader look at the value of soft skills – this time through the focus on how soft skills Read the rest

Happy National Library Workers Day!

Today, April 9, 2019, is National Library Workers Day (NLWD). Established by the American Library Association’s Allied Professional Association’s (ALA-APA), NLWD was designed as an opportunity to recognize all library workers who make library service possible every day.

Do you know any library workers who should be recognized for the great work they do, their positive outlook or the wonderful way they assist patrons? Consider submitting their names to the ALA-APA Galaxy of Stars as part of the National Library Read the rest

Want to Leverage Some Powerhouse Soft Skills? Put your Emotional Intelligence to Work to Advance Your Career

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Welcome back to this month’s Library Worklife! Here’s an interesting bit of information that should pique your interest in learning more about this month’s topic. Did you know that research has shown a strong link between performance, pay, and Emotional Intelligence? Read on to find out more…

We’ve been looking at soft skills for a number of months now. This month we’re focusing on a particular set of powerhouse soft skills – those that make up Read the rest

Use Your Soft Skills to Stand Out in an Interview

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Greetings and welcome to 2019!  Our focus, beginning in the Fall of last year and continuing into this new year is on the importance of soft skills in growing your career.  Check out the November 2018 issue for an introduction to soft skills.  This month I’d like to introduce you to two library workers and show you how the issue of soft skills proved to be a challenge for both of them.

First, meet Gary, a Read the rest

Report Censorship: 5 Facts to Remember!

By Kristin Pekoll

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. is relevant to so many aspects of our life personally and professionally.

Today, I’m reminding you of the importance of reporting censorship and to not be silent about one of the core values of our profession; intellectual freedom. By reporting censorship to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) you are equipping us with Read the rest