SCLA/PLDA Civil Service Program Addresses Timely Topic

Wednesday morning’s workshop, How to Fill Out a Training & Experience Exam, at the Brentwood Public Library was a testimony to the power of open communication and collaboration. Everyone involved in putting together the joint program between the SCLA Civil Service Committee and PLDA should be commended for organizing an informative event.

Were you back at your library serving the library users of Suffolk County? No worries; here are the highlights:

We heard a pep talk and introduction from Lindenhurst Library Director Peter Ward. Peter understood that he was addressing future library leaders. “The positions that require these exams,” Peter said, “are the positions in the library where you will meet your full potential.” If Peter’s statement resonates with you, keep reading.

The program, he went on to explain, was primarily put together to address stories he’s heard of candidates losing points as a result of mistakes they made filling out the training and experience exams. He also referred to the natural cycle of library administrators retiring and librarians moving up the ranks. “Some of us are getting long in the tooth.” Peter joked. “If you hear someone go down, get your resume out.” This was met with laughs of course, but Peter went on to say with all seriousness that “there are going to be a lot of opportunities, but you have to be ready for them.”

Next Peter introduced Cheryl of Suffolk County’s Civil Service Department, who Peter referred to as a “stone cold killer.” If by that he means she is a professional who knows her stuff and is completely approachable, well then yes, she is! Remember Cheryl’s name when you call Civil Service. She’ll be glad to help you with your questions. Here are some of the actions she recommended:

  • Cheryl reminded us that reporting your experience on civil service exams is all about dividing what you do up into percentages. A good way to start this process is to make a list of what you do in a week and assign percentages.
  • Attending the computational review (which is usually offered on a Saturday morning after the scores are released) is key to understanding how the scoring was done and making improvements for the next time around.
  • Start early. The deadline is midnight on February 29th. Do not wait until the last minute in case you have questions or computer network issues.
  • Read the exam through before filling in any experience. This will help you match your experience to the right section.
  • Read the directions. : )

I’d wish you good luck, but that’s not what you need. You need plenty of time to thoroughly read the instructions, answer the questions, and to pick up the phone and call Civil Service if you have questions.

For those of you who have read this far I’ll close with a key piece of advice Cheryl shared with the group regarding reporting work experience:

“If you’re in doubt whether or not to include something, put it in.”


2012 Mock Caldecott Results

This morning, 37 librarians discussed a short list of outstanding pictures books at the 2012 Suffolk County Mock Caldecott Discussion. When the ballots were counted, both groups had selected Grandpa Green by Lane Smith as the winner. Group 1 selected Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage as an honor book, and group 2 chose A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. Judy Zuckerman of the Brooklyn Public Library took a train from Atlantic Terminal in the wee hours of the morning to join us and share her experience as Chair of the 2011 Caldecott Committee and member of the 2005 Caldecott committee.

“What a terrific, well-prepared group they were!” Judy said about the librarians in attendance.

Peter Ward, director of the Lindenhurst Memorial Library, observed the program and was equally impressed with the participants. “You’ve got the stars of children’s services interacting with the up and coming blue chips,” he commented. (See Peter’s unique announcement of the Mock Caldecott winners here.)

The discussion leaders – Danielle Carey, Julie Delaney, Christine Dengel, and Kelly Sheridan did a great job selecting the books and facilitating the discussion groups. Many thanks to the librarians who stepped up to introduce the 8 discussion titles:

A Ball for Daisy; Chris Raschka
Brother Sun, Sister Moon; written by Katherine Paterson; illustrated by Pamela Dalton
Grandpa Green; Lane Smith
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans; Kadir Nelson
The House Baba Built; the text as told to Libby Koponen; illustrated by Ed Young
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat; Philip C.  Stead
The Man in the Moon; Laura Geringer Books, editor; illustrated by William Joyce
Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage

To tune in to the ALA Youth Media Awards presentation on January 23, 2012, visit the ALA website.