People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: sla-ny

Library Career Transitions, Consulting, and Coming Full Circle

IMG_1231I (my partner in crime couldn’t make it) enjoyed speaking about our consulting work at the last month’s panel discussion on Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Transitioning to Another Type of Library, organized by SLA-NY and hosted by Baruch College. There were lots of interesting discussions and conversations about library career transitions, career strategies, and trends. It was great to meet new faces and reconnect with old ones.

The whoa! moment that evening was when I first stepped into the room where the panel was going to take place. It hit me that this was the same exact room that Sandra and I were in for a SLA-NY Future Ready event back in 2011 where we decided to get creative with our name tags and put aspiring consultant. Five years later, I was in the very same room, talking about how we got into consulting. Talk about coming full circle.

Upcoming Panel Discussion: Career Transitions for Librarians

A Panel Discussion on Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Transitioning to Another Type of Library

Wednesday, June 29th
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Baruch College, 151 East 25th Street

career-transitions.jpgInterested in learning strategies on making a major change in your career? Want to know how our colleagues have successfully refocused their own work by moving from one type of library to another successfully? This program brings together a panel of librarians who have worked in more than one type of library — special, public, academic, and more. Our colleagues will share their experiences, as well as the challenges and reward of making such career transitions.

Based on the newly published Career Transitions for Librarians, our panelists will provide thoughts, advice, and wisdom from librarians who have found occasion to make big changes in their career in libraries.


Note: The hot off the press Career Transitions for Librarians is co-edited by Davis Erin Anderson and Ray Pun, great colleagues and librarians.

Full disclosure: We contributed a chapter and will be a part of the panel discussion. See you there!

Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Career – SLA-NY Event Recap

linkedinOn Wednesday, I attended a great presentation on “Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Career” by Brian Tietje, Strategic Account Executive at LinkedIn (and professional envelope pusher — from his LinkedIn profile headline). The event was organized by the New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA-NY).

Sandra and I are big fans of LinkedIn (as you may know from our leadership and career development presentations and blog posts). Being a LinkedIn fan, I was glad that I learned some new things and not-so-new things from a different perspective:

  • Update your LinkedIn profile according to your professional/career objectives.
  • You can create a company page on LinkedIn, for free.
  • Make a good first impression: use the headline space of your profile. Don’t just put your job title — that’s what we said about name tags and on maximizing LinkedIn.
  • Your summary section = your elevator pitch. Make it count. Highlight your role and career experience.
  • When it comes to LinkedIn recommendations, be specific in your recommendation request. Tell them what you want to be recommended for. Don’t have more than 3-5 recommendations displayed on your profile (Brag, but not too much).
  • Weed your LinkedIn connections at least once a year.
  • You can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups, but do you really want to be part of so many groups? Think quality over quantity. Feel free to test drive groups.
  • As a LinkedIn member, you get 5 introductions per month to use within your network. Get an introduction to the person you need to reach. You may share similar professional interests with this person or this person works at a company that you’re interested in.
  • When you search your network, you can save those searches and create weekly alerts.
  • Participate in Answers. It’s a way to share your knowledge as a professional in your field.
  • LinkedIn Today, news headlines (which I enjoy reading and sharing) comes from a few places: LinkedIn’s editorial team and what your network and industry are sharing.
  • Keep an eye on your profile stats. This helps gauge the impact of your LinkedIn profile. Are people finding or looking at your profile?
  • LinkedIn recently acquired Slideshare (we’re big fans of Slideshare too).

For more tips on leveraging LinkedIn for your career, check out Brian’s presentation slides on the SLA-NY website.

The one LinkedIn tip that Sandra and I keep sharing in our presentations (so we’re going to share it here as well): 

connectWhen you send an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn, please customize your message.

The default message is “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”, which is fine to use, in addition to your message. We can’t tell you how many times people just send us the default message. You wouldn’t just walk up to someone, give them your business card and then walk away — would you? Don’t do that on LinkedIn.

Customize your message. It can be something as simple as “We have similar professional interests: x,y,z.”. Remind them if you met in-person at an event, worked together on a project or were in the same class together.

What are your tips for using LinkedIn? Share them in the comments section below. 


Today, we presented Professional and Career Development: Tips, Tricks & Tools for the Information Professional at SLA-NY @ METRO.

Hello, My Name Is…


Sure, a name tag is for your name, but if you want to get the most out of it, be sure to also put a title or a headline. And we’re not talking about your job title. In fact, you should say who you are professionally aka your professional brand. Why? A few reasons:

  • Helps build and maintain your professional brand
  • Serves as a good ice breaker
  • Helps get a conversation going



And it works! We tried it. At last week’s SLA-NY Future Ready event, we decided to put more than just our names.

Quite a few people inquisitively asked about it.

So go ahead, get creative and experiment with it. Let us know what happens.