Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Your Library Student Business Card: Do's and Don'ts

More and more, I'm finding myself at functions where librarians, archivists, and library school students can meet and mingle. After people introduce themselves and share a bit about their academic, professional, or personal background, the inevitable question arises: "Do you have a business card?" Well, um...
Here's an idea for a library student business card! Can't say I've seen this before.
Image from

I'm sorry to say that I don't have a business card. Being that I don't (yet) work at a library or archive and am currently a library student, I wonder what I would put on it. Should I say that I'm an MLS student? And if so, should I put on it that I'm graduating soon? Nicole Helregel advises against it.

In "Your Very First Library Student Business Cards," her article for Hack Library School, Nicole Helregel says to avoid putting "a student position or temporary appointment" on your card. "To maximize your card's longevity," she says, also "steer clear of 'expected graduation' and other phrases that will become dated. Perhaps just list: 'Degree, Institution, Graduation Year,' e.g. 'MLIS, University of Illinois, 2014.'" Sounds good to me. But what about the all-important contact info?

"Consider having more than one point of contact," Helregel strongly suggests in her article. "Include the ones you check most frequently. Also for longevity's sake, consider listing an email address that isn't linked to your institution, since that will likely change once you graduate (go with Gmail or something comparable)."

If you're active on social media, Helregel says it "would not be out of place" if you put, say, your Twitter handle on your business card. If you have a blog, include the link to your blog "if it focuses primarily on LIS issues or can showcase your writing skills in a way that won't detract from your professionalism and employability." If you're on LinkedIn, add that information as well, "particularly if you don't have any other online resume or web/blogging presence," Helregel says.

For more about what to put on your first library student business cards, as well as what to print them on and whether or not you should print them yourself, see Nicole Helregel's article for Hacked Library School at THIS LINK.

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