Tag Archives: job searching

Welcome Class of 2016!

Image hosted here

Dear incoming college students:

Hey there –how’s it going? We’re really glad you’re here. We know you’re super busy, what with the moving, unpacking, and starting a whole new chapter of your life thing, but we thought we’d write a quick note welcoming you to the neighborhood and inviting you to come over and check us out (literally and figuratively).  We met some of you at the Pitt new student orientation the other night, so we can already tell you’re just the kind of people we want to hang out with:  fun, smart, classy, and about ten different kinds of literate.

Here’s a few things you might not know about us, and some ways you can get to know us better, online and offline:

  1. Library cards are free!  The carving over the door says “Free to the People,” and that means everybody in Allegheny County, including you.  Getting a card  is a snap, with the right ID and info, You can even start your application online, though we will need you to stop by after that and do a few more things before you can pick up your physical card.
  2. Your library card has special powers.  Think of it as an Easter egg in the game of life: once you have a card, you’ll be able to check out items, search databases, download digital items to your Kindle/Nook/other device, get book recommendations, learn languages, and explore tons of other options.  Did we mention the “for free” part?
  3. We will hide you from your annoying roommate.  If you really need to get some studying done, and you want to get off-campus for a little while, we’re a short walk down Forbes.  Make your way to the second floor and indulge in one of our quiet study areas.  We’ve got wireless. We’ve got long tables where you can spread out undisturbed.  We have comfy chairs. Heaven.
  4. There’s an app for us. Got a smartphone?  Download our free app to have library functions–including catalog searches, account checks, and social media features–at your fingertips 24/7.
  5. We know how to have fun on the weekend. The library’s fun all the time, of course, but we pack our Saturdays and Sundays with free special events like world music concerts, poetry readings, unusual films, and other interesting things as we dream them up. Perfect for dates or just hanging out with friends in air-conditioned comfort.
  6. Coffee:  we have it.  Do you consider caffeine a vitamin? No problem.  The library’s Crazy Mocha coffee shop serves tasty food and beverages from local sources, so you never have to choose between your library books and your latte.
  7. Community service options abound.  Maybe you have to earn a certain number of volunteer hours for a class or service club you belong to.  We can work with you to set up an opportunity that will make both you and us very happy. Visit the library’s volunteer page to learn more and fill out an online application.
  8. Books you don’t have to read for class. Whenever you need a break from the rigors of Advanced Calculus or Extreme Spreadsheets, we’ll be happy to hook you up with reading material that will give your brain a break.  From world fiction to sci-fi, mystery, and romance, we’ve got a little something for everybody. And if we don’t have it on hand, we can usually get it for you in less than a week from anywhere else in the county.
  9. An extra shot of academic support, minus the guilt. Because it’s not all fun and games, you’re eventually going to need journal articles, books and other materials to get those art history, literature, and science research papers written.  To level up from smart to amazing, come visit us after you’re done at your school library.  We’ve got journal databases, research guides, and a virtual library collection you can use long after the physical doors have closed. You can even get a jump on internships, local job searches, and standardized tests (it’s never too early to think about this stuff) via our Job and Career Center. If you want to be excellent (and who doesn’t?), make us part of your game plan for world domination.
  10. Gandalf, Captain America, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer work here. Everybody on staff is a superhero in disguise, just waiting to solve your problems. Think of us as the kindly wise folk who show up when you have no idea what to do next; we can point you in the right direction either in person, over the phone, or via a variety of virtual services like e-mail, chat, and text. The only special power we don’t have is mind-reading (that’s not part of the official library school curriculum yet), so we still need you to let us know how we can help. Rest assured, though, that once we know, we’ll do everything in our power to get you the materials and information you need.

That’s a lot of data to process, and even though it’s just the tip of the iceberg, library-wise, we’re pretty sure you have things to do this weekend, so we’ll sign off for now. Stop by and see us soon, though! We hope your time in Pittsburgh is lovely and amazing, and that by the time you graduate, we’ll be good friends. Or, at least, the people you smile and wave to when you run into us between classes.


–Leigh Anne (but you can call her Buffy)

PS:  Make sure you get out of Oakland once in a while and see our other locations, too.  Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are unique, and every single one of them is worth a trip. Plus, you’ll have someplace to take your folks when they come to visit.

PPS:  Please don’t lend your fabulous, free library card to that annoying roommate!  Or to anybody else, really.  Pretend it’s a credit card, because, really, it’s the same principle: you’re responsible for whatever goes out on the card, and we’d hate for you to start your brand new collegiate life with bad credit from library debt.


Filed under Uncategorized

What’s New in JCEC

A lot has been happening in the Job, Career and Education Center lately.

We’ve scheduled spring dates for our Skills for Success speaker series, starting with Job Hunting after 50 in April.  (We’ve tried to address topics of interest to our customers, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, please let us know!)

Due to their overwhelming popularity in 2011, we’re offering more Resume and Cover Letter Assistance appointments.  They’ll now be held on Tuesday afternoons, in addition to Wednesday evenings.  Registration is required and openings book up quickly, so call soon.

Job Club, our discussion group that provides job hunting support and networking opportunities, returns on February 29th.  There is often a theme or activity for each meeting, but feel free to bring any job hunting questions or concerns you may have.

We’ve also started giving Mock Interviews, on Mondays from 11-12.  There is no registration; just walk in and speak to a staff member.

And in addition to our monthly JobWire email newsletter we’re now sending Job Watch updates, in which we pass along the latest openings and job fairs that cross our desk.  To subscribe, email jcec@carnegielibrary.org with Job Watch / JobWire in the subject line.

Since JCEC and the PC Center have joined forces, our services have started to overlap.  You can now see all of both departments’ events in one handy calendar.  There is always a link to the most current calendar on this page, and we send a link in the JobWire newsletter when the new one is ready.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to register for one of our programs, please stop by, call (412) 622 – 3133, or send us an email.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Twelve Titillating Titles

I believe that a healthy sense of humor is the best way to cope with most of life’s frustrations — yes, even the serious business of a job search.  And judging by these titles, I’m not the only one.

  1. The Idler Book of Crap Jobs: 100 Tales of Workplace Hell
  2. Was Your Boss Raised By Wolves?  Surviving the Organizational Food Chain
  3. Don’t Take The Last Donut: New Rules of Business Etiquette
  4. Never Wrestle With A Pig: And Ninety Other Ideas to Build Your Business And Career
  5. Can I Lie On My Resume?  Strategies that Win the Career Game
  6. The Dictionary of Corporate Bull****
  7. Can I Wear My Nose Ring To The Interview?  The Crash Course to Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job
  8. It’s All Your Fault!  (How To Make It As A Hollywood Assistant)
  9. Landing On The Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide For The Recently Unemployed
  10. 99 Surefire Ways to Stay Unemployed
  11. Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English
  12. The Slam-and-Scream: And Other Powerful Strategies And Great Career Moves for Secretaries, Assistants, and Anyone Else Who Has Had Enough

May all your holidays be merry, readers.  See you in  2011.



Filed under Uncategorized

Holiday Job Searching

If you’re unemployed or underemployed, the holidays can be far from cheerful.  Fortunately, there are a wealth of resources that can help you cope. Here are just a few things that I’ve run across recently.

Katherine Brooks of Psychology Today wrote an excellent blog post about surviving the “Holiday Job Search Blues.”

CareerCast’s Tony Lee outlines why you should use the season to intensify your search, rather than taking a break.

If you’re interested in temporary seasonal employment, About.Com highlights some of the most common jobs.

And an article from TheWorkBuzz.Com provides tips for “overqualified” job applicants.

And of course, the library’s Job and Career Education Center (JCEC) has a variety of books that might re-inspire you –


101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times

Make Job Loss Work For You
Make Job Loss Work For You: Get Over It and Get Your Career Back on Track

Rebound: A Proven Plan For Starting Over After Job Loss

Surviving A Layoff

Surviving a Layoff: A Week-By-Week Guide to Getting Your Life Back Together

Suddenly Unemployed: Encouraging & Practical Steps for Finding A Job

Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass
Landing On the Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide for the Recently Unemployed

We Got Fired!
We Got Fired! And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us

As always, this is just a sample of what’s available. Please feel free to chime in with your favorite books, websites, and other job-searching advice.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Job and Career Education Center

Did you know the library has an entire department devoted to job hunting, career development, higher education, and test preparation?  No matter where you are in your working life, the Job and Career Education Center (JCEC) has something to help you.

Whether you’re wondering what you should be when you grow up, or researching what it would take to switch to a new career, we can help you narrow things down.  A good way to start is to take some career aptitude tests, like the Pennsylvania Department of Labor’s Career Guide.  (I took this quiz a few years ago, and it told me the career I was most suited to was… librarian!  Of course, your results may vary, and are only to be used as a starting point.)

Once you know some specific careers you might be interested in, you can research them in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Here, you will see what training and education you might need to become qualified, what the actual work is like on a daily basis, and what you can expect in terms of job openings and salary. 

Or, if you don’t like any of the suggested careers, we have books like “Careers for Night Owls and Other Insomiacs” that explore a range of careers that might be appropriate to your interests and abilities.

At some point in your job hunt, you may have to take a standardized test.  Whether you’re studying for the SATs or the firefighter’s exam, we’ll have something to help you.  And if we don’t have a physical copy of the book on our shelves, we may have access to a full-text version online through the Testing and Education Reference Center

If you need more education before you’re ready for your dream job, the JCEC can show you how to research schools, prepare your application, and look for financial aid.  (If you’re looking for a trade school or apprenticeship, we can help with that too!)

When it’s finally time to apply for that dream job, come brush up on writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, and other aspects of the job hunt.  Then search for job postings through the “Finding a Job” section of the JCEC’s website

This is only the beginning of what the JCEC has to offer.  Whether you have a specific problem or question, or you’re not even sure what your next step is, stop by the JCEC and chat with a librarian.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized