Wednesday, October 24, 2012

MLA 2012, Part One

MLA Notes on several sessions:

Looking Global
By:  Dru Frykberg ( &
       Rachel Vilsack (,

This was a surprising and very well presented program which talked about resources available for job-seekers who are fluent in more than 1 language.
Minnesota businesses are exporting more than ever, and not just the large firms. Over 97% of Minnesota exporters are small to medium size businesses. Dru and Rachel had some well thought out suggestions for how a multilingual job seeker could be helped by expanding their job search into the arena of exporters.
Qualities that these firms are searching for include
    Fluency in 2 or more languages
    Having lived or worked in a foreign country
    Being a former/current citizen of another country
    Having a unique skill set (a degree, experience, etc)
    Post secondary degrees (beyond High School)
    Export/Import experience (though not necessary, it is desirable)
    Possibly a veteran
The types of jobs available run the gamut from finance to marketing to law, transportation and manufacture.
One of the ways to tap into the “hidden job market” is to tailor the job search by identifying the top exporters in a specific industry, match the professional skills to the job seeker and conduct what is called these days an “informational meeting” rather than an interview. By going in to ask what the company is looking for, you create an opportunity to connect without the  stress of a formal interview. This improves the job seekers chances of networking within his target companies and creating a way for the business to identify them with any potential openings that might occur. The handouts for this session are especially useful, as they detail some of the places a job seeker might want to investigate further:

These resources will certainly be welcome to the job seeker who has the abilities needed at an exporting business. Also, just as an aside, several days after MLA ended I was asked to help a customer find information on exporting from Minnesota. I scurried to find the link to this session and he was absolutely delighted with the information provided. So, this handout can be useful in several ways.

Getting their Pinterest
By: Krista Jacobson
Minnesota School of Business – Moorhead
Kate Bessey
Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange
This session was a crash course in the social website Pinterest, which is a virtual corkboard which displays visual bookmarks and organizes your interests. By creating an account, you can bring material in from other websites (pin it) and can connect your Pinterest board to both Facebook and Twitter, though you do not need to use either of those other social websites. The only requirement for having a Pinterest account is a valid email address.
Pinterest had its public launch in March of 2010 and was declared by Time Magazine to be one of the 50 best websites of 2011. Currently, Pinterest boasts that 12% of all adult internet users are on Pinterest, while 19% of all women internet users are on Pinterest. That very nearly works out to 1 in 5 women using this social website.  The most commonly pinned areas of interest are; Food and Drink, Do-it-yourself and crafts, Home Décor and Women’s Apparel. The Pinterest site is garnering a lot of interest with advertisers, but they do not seem to be accepting ads at the present time.

There are several areas of interest that would be relevant to libraries, including Books, Writing, Photography, etc. When beginning a new account, the user would choose from a list of topics or categories of interest. If desired, Pinterest will recommend key pinners in those areas where you can look for content ideas. The user is also offered a “Pin It” button, which allows others to copy and pin content that you have added.
The Reader’s Advisory Committee is looking into how we could use Pinterest. Some of the boards that might be doable include: A new arrivals board, Books you can’t put down,  a book club board, sites of local interest for travelers to the area, etc.

Some of the libraries currently using Pinterest creatively include: NYPL, Sacramento Public, San Francisco Public  and American Libraries Magazine.
To view the handout, go to:

Going the extra MILE panel discussion:
Several people, including our own Melissa Gray, were involved in this panel discussion. The purpose of  MILE (MLA’s Institute for Leadership Excellence)  is for its inductees to learn how to advocate for libraries, specifically in MN, but also on the larger stage of the US, and to offer formal mentoring to up and coming library leaders.
One of the benefits of this program to its members is a formal mentor who is assigned to the member at the beginning of the program. Both the mentors and the mentees were extremely complimentary about their relationships and the many benefits of having a mentor outside of your own workplace, to talk about the tough issues at work, practice job interviews, etc.
They also talked about the MILE program’s impact on MLA: 3 of the last 7 Presidents of MLA have come from MILE alumni and many of the committee chairs and movers and shakers within MLA are also alumni.
The MILE program hosts a retreat every two years, where the current members of MILE go to network and learn more about their own personal leadership style. To do this, they use a tool called “Strength Finder”. To learn more, feel free to contact Melissa at Central.
(No handouts)

--Doris @Central

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