On being an information entrepreneur


Depending on your career interests, the following books can provide valuable information to help you meet your career goals.

Bates, Mary Ellen. Building and Running a Successful Research Business: A Guide for the Independent Information Professional, 2d ed. Information Today, 2010.

Bates’ book is basically required reading for anyone considering going independent as an information professional, regardless of whether that be as a researcher, indexer, taxonomist, content developer, or other type of information specialist.

de Stricker, Ulla and Jill Hurst-Wahl. The Information and Knowledge Professional’s Handbook: Define and Create Your Success. Chandos Information Professional Series, 2011.

These highly-respected, experienced authors provide detailed, practical career advice that comes across as a cross between coaching, mentoring, and okay, (in the nicest possible way), a bit of nagging. But it’s clear their goal is to help readers avoid career potholes if possible. To that end, the tone and format is strongly prescriptive, letting readers know in no uncertain terms how certain situations should be handled in order to help ensure career success.

Dority, G. Kim. Rethinking Information Work: A Career Guide for Librarians and Other Information Professionals. Libraries Unlimited, 2006.

Identifies what the options are, which ones might be of greatest interest to you given your personal attributes and values, and strategies and tactics for achieving your career goals. Focusing on strategies and tactics, the book’s goal is to help you build a sustainable, resilient career despite the unpredictable state of the profession.

Fourie, Denise K. and David R. Dowell. Libraries in the Information Age: An Introduction and Career Exploration, 2d ed. Libraries Unlimited, 2009.

Intended as an LIS course textbook, Libraries in the Information Age presents perhaps the most mainstream take on library work. It presents a thorough overview of types of libraries and librarians, plus their activities (collections, preparing materials for use, circulation, reference service, and evolving library services). Especially useful for those considering more tradition LIS paths.

Gordon, Rachel Singer. What’s the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros. Information Today, 2008.

Gordon focuses on a multitude of non-traditional (read: not public, schools, or academic) LIS roles, with an emphasis on identifying transferable skills and applying them to a variety of alternative jobs such as knowledge management, competitive intelligence, working for a vendor, or independent work.

Lawson, Judy, Joanna Kroll, and Kelly Kowatch. The New Information Professional: Your Guide to Careers in the Digital Age. Neal-Schuman, 2010.

An exceptionally detailed (as useful) look at career options in the emerging digital information world, with extremely useful “career maps” of related career paths for specific field, such as archives and preservation, records management, human-computer interaction, social computing, and information systems management, among others.

Shontz, Priscilla K. and Richard Murray, eds. A Day in the Life: Career Options in Library and Information Science. Libraries Unlimited, 2007.

Like having 90 LIS professionals sit down and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about what it’s like to do that kind of work. Includes profiles from those practicing in school, public, and academic libraries as well as numerous non-traditional roles. Multiple voices, multiple career paths – a terrific resource.