Library Catalog Technician 

(Female, Age 58) from Philadelphia, PA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 58 who works as a Library Catalog Technician in Philadelphia, PA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Library Catalog Technician
Salary $36,000
Other Compensation None Set
Company Size (not answered)
Location Philadelphia, PA
Years Experience 10 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Free Library of Phila – 52 library branches – 500+ employees

Provides books, electronic resources, computers, workshops and many other resources to the population of Philadelphia

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
create catalog entries for the FLP database, database maintenance projects, search various media for high interest items, maintain reserves database, create selection lists for ordering, work on foreign language (non-roman)books, compile summer readings lists, compile lists of award winning books

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
5 weeks vacation, 20 days sick, 4 Administrative leave days, Keystone Health plan (HMO) pension

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
adequate – haven’t had a new contract in over 4 years

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with 7 librarians. Most of my work is computer related – searching databases, etc. A lot of the work is feeding them information – I like the interaction with other people although it is somewhat limited

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work in an office (actually 2) the one I’m currently assigned to work in has cubicles (somewhat OK), however when I was reassigned to this new job about 2-1/2 years ago, I reserved the right to retain a desk in my old area where I work about 4 days a month – it has a window – no great view, but a window nontheless.

I hate answering the phones if the office manager or secretary is away from her desk.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 4
Hours: 5
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 6
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 1

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
My mom worked for the city of Philadelphia for years and recommended that I apply for a job – promised job security, decent benefits, pension, regular raises

What was the application process?
paper application, test, wait for about a year, interview

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I was first on a list for another promotional position and was called and asked if I was interested in interviewing for a position in the atalog department. I had been highly recommended to my current department head by her area supervisor – she interviewed me and I was hired immediately.

She has commented to me on a number of occasions that it was one of the best hiring decisions that she has made in years

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I was given a number of scenarios and asked how I would respond

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
My employer was very glad to learn that I understood a lot of what she needed to teach me because of my prior experience in the library

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
a lot of reading – AARC2 – DDC20 – handouts – tests on what I read, hands on cataloging – initially quite a bit of supervision and checking of my work

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Didn’t have an educational background other than a high school diploma. I’m a very quick learner and have no objection to doing somewhat tedious work

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
They would need to apply for and take a civil service test.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
ability to work with EXCEL, Word, be comfortable with searching the internet and many different informational databases. The technician position was a promotion from a clerical position.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
most definitely – the job is somewhat clerical but I had to have specialized training in catalog rules and processes

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
It’s fairly much a dead end position unless you want to put in the time, work and money to get a fifth year degree in Library Science

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
My career plan is to retire within the next 4 years if not sooner, depending on the economy

What are your current career goals?
My career plan is to retire within the next 4 years if not sooner, depending on the economy

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It’s been an excellent job, but that is pretty much what it has been, a job

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Library Assistant I 4 years don’t recall circulation , shelving, database entry
Prior Job 2 Library Assistant II 6 don’t recall supervision of LAI’s, more complicated database work, ordering, maintaining work and desk schedules

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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