While large professional organizations like ALA and SAA have organized job fairs to coincide with conferences, NDSA hasn’t yet done this, until now. After noticing people recruiting at digital preservation conferences in the past year, I began to think why not? Well, one good reason is that NDSA is not a dues-collecting professional organization and doesn’t have the same resources or capacity of ALA or SAA. It falls to individuals at member institutions to propose ideas and so I submitted a vague proposal that necessarily did not contain a lot of details. When it was accepted, I immediately realized that I needed help, even for a “mini” job fair and enlisted Robin Ruggaber, also a past NDSA Coordinating Committee Chair, to help pull it off. This blog post describes our vision for this session.
In the coming months, Robin and I will be scouring listservs and job boards and reaching out to employers to identify five open jobs that can be highlighted during the session. We hope to represent different types of employers, such as higher education, government, service providers, and other cultural heritage organizations, small and large; and different types of jobs involving digital preservation skills such as, digital preservation librarian, preservation infrastructure engineer, digital archivist, or service manager. Preference will be given to employers that disclose pay, demonstrate a commitment to hiring and retaining a diverse and welcoming workforce, and to organizations that promote employee wellbeing. If you are or are planning to recruit for a digital preservation position during the time of the conference and are interested in participating, please contact Nathan Tallman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robin Ruggaber (email@example.com).
Each of these five jobs will be presented to the audience, hopefully by someone from the hiring organization. Presenters will be asked to share the expected impacts of a successful candidate within one week, one month, and one year of hire. Other details we expect to be shared include salary range, examples of how required and preferred qualifications may be met, and how to apply. No interviews are planned as part of this event. If there is extra time, other employers will be able to engage the audience in position design for anticipated digital preservation jobs.
But that’s not all! In addition to highlighting five open jobs, Robin and I will recruit digital preservation managers willing to review resumes/CVs and coach applicants conducting a job search. We hope there will be enough space in Regency A to allow both activities to occur concurrently, but if needed resume/CV review and job coaching may occur throughout the venue.
These are our goals for this session. Our ability to be successful largely depends on the job market this fall and the availability of digital preservation hiring managers during the conference. Some of these details might change for practical reasons as Robin and I carry out planning and logistics, but we are optimistic. As NDSA grows, more organizations are looking to hire. We hope this session will help make connections between people and employers and set a precedent in our community.
~ Nathan Tallman, Past NDSA Coordinating Committee Chair