April 16, 2014

115  Larger Question MarkAfter doing the Heartbleed post yesterday, I started thinking about all the passwords we use for access to our websites.  Many people still use one password for all their sites.  This is a very bad idea, especially if you have a large number of sites that need this type of access.  I have so many that I have them listed on a large, old fashioned Rolodexes I managed to dig out a few years ago.  Even that method could be improved upon.  I started hunting around and discovered that Life Hacker has done an excellent posting on how password vulnerability has changed and what we need to do to keep up.  As is usual with Life Hacker, the article is so good and so thorough that I cannot improve on it.  I am just going to provide the title with an imbedded link here.  All you have to do is click on it.  I would highly suggest that you do.  It may save you a lot of grief in the future.

Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers


vea/16 April 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net


Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability

April 16, 2014

I first heard about the Heartbleed bug from Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers’ FaceBook posting on April 11th.  This is a serious encryption flaw that was in security software that became available in December 2011 (according to wikipedia.)  What did/does it do?  Names, passwords, and content that went out over the Internet to http sites were easily accessible and not protected. My understanding at this point is that https sites and specially secured sites such as credit card and banking sites were not affected.  It was discovered in March of 2014, over two years later.

I read that as early as 2010 Facebook was supposed to give their users an option to use https.  I tried to follow the directions on my Facebook account and found nothing.  Then I read a 2011 blub that they were dragging their heels on the upgrade.  Looks like they still are, unless I’m missing something.  I was almost convinced that I was being over cautious by never using my name on a social networking site.  Now I’m glad I don’t.   I’ve compiled a list of links that you might want to check out, starting with the one that I got from Thomas MacEntee.

 What the Heartbleed Security Bug Means for You from LifeHacker

Heartbleed Disclosure Timeline: Who Knew What and When  by Ben Grubb of the Sydney Morning Herald

Heartbleed from Wikipedia

‘Heartbleed’ bug undoes Web encryption, reveals Yahoo passwords   from cnet.com

Heartbleed bug: Check which sites have been patched from cnet                                                                                      We compiled a list of the top 100 sites across the Web, and checked to see if the Heartbleed bug was patched.

Heartbleed bug: What you need to know (FAQ)from cnet                                                                                                        The security vulnerability has implications for users across the Web. Here’s what the bug means for you.

Akamai Heartbleed patch not a fix after all   from cnet                                                                                                              The Web infrastructure company’s patch was supposed to have handled the problem. Turns out it protects only three of six critical encryption values.

vea/15 April 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net

MIT Study to Help Unemployed 40 -65 Years of Age — Looking for Volunteers

October 11, 2013

Sign up for the opportunity to receive free job search support made possible by MIT-based research and career coaches and counselors who have agreed to volunteer their time. As part of research focused on effective job search strategies and support, a number of experienced career coaches and counsellors have volunteered to provide for free the same job search support that often costs amounts not affordable to many unemployed job seekers.

Job seekers in the greater Boston area are encouraged to sign up if they fit the study’s focus on:
— workers who are unemployed at least 6 months,
— white-collar workers (broadly defined, to include anyone would might work in an office, from administrative assistants to executives, to engineers or managers), and
— workers between 40 – 65 years old

Please sign up even if you are not sure you “fit” the study’s focus. Please also note that while we seek to provide free support to as many job seekers as we can, due to the number of available career coaches and counselors not all job seekers who sign up will be able to receive support. Everyone who signs up will receive a response, and if they wish, will be on a list to receive preliminary findings as they become available on the most effective job search strategies.

The sign up process should take approximately 10 minutes . The sign up and the research will adhere to the highest standards of confidentiality.
To sign up please click on the following link:

Alternatively you sign up by going to the Institute for Career Transitions website: instituteforcareertransitions.org
If you have any questions please contact us via the ICT website.

Ofer Sharone
Asst. Professor
MIT Sloan School of Management
Institute for Work and Employment Research
100 Main Street, Bldg E62-340
Cambridge MA 02142-1347
(617) 253-7483

Using Twitter to Find a Job

February 11, 2013

Finding a job by typing 140 characters or less sounds too good to be true.  That is the number of characters (including spaces) that the social media site Twitter allows per tweet. And you’re right. It’s a little more involved than one tweet.  Social media is about building a user’s reputation over time.

There is a useful article by Elisha Hartwig from Mashable summarizing a live Tweet chat that took place last Thursday between the human resources people at Twitter and NPR. The topic was finding efficient ways to use Twitter to find a job.  You can find the article below with all it’s useful tips and suggestions.  It’s tips can be quickly applied  by  people who already know how to use Twitter. The problem is that since it is short on specific how tos, beginners can absorb the ideas, but not have a clue how to implement them.

There are different ways to learn how to use various social media sites.  Did you think of books?  For computers! Absolutely.  They flow sequentially which helps the beginner build a solid base of knowledge going from point A to B to C before branching out in various directions.  A book helps you learn the basics. Below I have included several that might help.

Sometimes you just need someone to teach you.  It’s a great opportunity to get your questions answered on the spot.  (No fishing around for just the right keyword.) Although the library does not have a class exclusively on Twitter, we do  have one that is an introduction to social media.  It does cover Twitter, but also Facebook, LinkedIn, Goggle+, Yelp and Foursquare — all in two hours.  If you are interested, the class is being held on Wednesday, February 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Newton Free Library.  There are only twelve computers (PCs) in the training room on the second floor, so you need to call and reserve a place. The number is (617) 796-1380.


How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource
by Elisha Hartwig from Mashable 10 February 2013

Tweet Deals: Using Twitter to Find a Job
New York Post  18 May 2009

Although a much older article, Tweet Deals (above) approaches a job hunt on Twitter from a different perspective. It describes the response of a network of online acquaintances to one of their number who is unexpectedly laid off. It demonstrates the power of social networking on a personal scale.  It also gives suggestions for using Twitter.


The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners: Getting Started with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by Sean Mahoney.  London: Rough Guides, 2012.  006.754 M27R.

140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  808.066 S12O

How to Find a Job on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ by Brad Schepp. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.  331.7 S32H


27 February 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Newton Free Library there will be a class on Introduction to Social Media Online. Call (617) 796-1380 to reserve a place.

Not Near Newton, MA?

If you do not live near Newton, check with your  local public library and your neighboring libraries.  They often develop their own classes for their patrons. You can also get the above books or books like them from your local public library or through its interlibrary loan services.

vea/11 February 2013
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

Two Hour Revamped Job Searching Class Offered on Wednesday, November 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M.

November 26, 2012

There were two changes that were requested by a number of those who attended the library’s one hour afternoon classes on Applying for a Job Online.  The first was that it should be longer.  One hour was not enough time.  The second was that the class should be offered in the evening when more people could attend. The library listened.

This Wednesday, November 28th, the Newton Free Library will be offering a two hour “Introduction to Job Hunting and Resumes Online.”  It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening in the computer training room on the second floor of the library.  If you are frustrated in your search for work and feel you need additional help, please give this class a try.  Even if you have been to one of the earlier classes, you will find new insight and suggestions in this restructured class.  John Walsh, the Assistant Head of Reference, will be teaching the class.  I was his backup in the talk he did on Optimal Resume this past September.  Trust me, it will be two hours very well spent and it will not be boring.  What you take away could just give you the edge you’ve been looking for.

If you would like to attend, please call (617) 796-1380 to register, or speak to a Reference Librarian at one of our information desks.  Pre-registration is required.  However, if for some reason you cannot call, still come. There is usually room for one more.  Often, even when a class is full, one or two people who have pre-registered do not make it. Come. Learn. Enjoy.

vea/26 November 2012
Newton Free Library                                                                                                                                                                                                                          330 Homer St.
Newton, Mass.

Networking — Dislike (or Dread) the Idea?

November 20, 2012

Networking is more than asking people if they know of job openings. There are people out there who have all sorts of information, about specific companies or industries, about free classes you might need, ways to tweak your resume, or technical tips for the job hunting you do on your computer. The problem for many of us is not only finding these people, but then asking for help. Even gregarious people can have problems.  For those of us who weigh in on the more introverted side of the scale, this whole process can be downright daunting.

Would you like to meet with other people who have the same problem and get some help from a professional career counselor — for free?  Come to the library next Tuesday, November 27th, at 7:00 pm.  Tammy Gooler Loeb will be presenting “Do What You Love, Love What You Do,” a program on networking, in the Druker Auditorium. You do not have to preregister.  Just come.

Whether you would like additional resources before or after the talk, I have put together a list of books that I hope you will find useful.  Clicking on the title will link you to the book in the library’s catalog.

A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market by Katharine Hansen.  I actually found out about this book from Tammy.

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed and the Underconnected by Devora Zack.  This has to be my all time favorite title for a networking book. (You can see which side of the scale I weigh in on.)

Find a Job through Social Networking: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career by Diane Crompton. Remember, you don’t have to read the entire book. The goal is not to overwhelm you, but to help you understand your options — at your own pace.  Sometimes an introductory chapter is enough to start with.

How to Find a Job On LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ by Brad Schepp.  This work includes the newest addition to the social networking family, Google+.

I’m On LinkedIn, Now What???: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn by Eric Butow.  LinkedIn is the most powerful online social networking tool for the job seeker.  It is devoted to careers, short range and long range.  You will be hearing a lot about it and may want to try it.

140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolia. Sometimes bigger is better, but often when you are on a social networking site, shorter is mandatory.  Even when it isn’t, shorter entries can get you more attention if done well. (As you can tell, I’m not exactly a 140 character type of person myself.) Mastering the form can take a little extra help and practice.  This book will give you a good start.

Never Apply for a Job Again! by Darrell W. Gurney.  This is the what online networking can accomplish over time.  The longer you use a social network, the more time you have to interact with others and build your reputation. As you do this, you may find people start coming to you. Some of those people may have been following you and decide they would like you to work for them.

Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job by Orville Pierson.

The Networking Survival Guide: Practical Advice to Help You Gain Confidence, Approach People, and Get the Success You Want by Diane Darling. This book emphasizes personal social networking skills rather than online networking.  It’s something people lose track of in our computer age.

If any of these books piques your curiosity, just click on the title.  That will not only bring you to our online catalog, but also to summaries and often to short reviews of the books.

Good luck with your job search.



vea/20 November 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

Rethinking Your Career Options?

October 17, 2012

Starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23, the Newton Free Library will be holding the second in it’s “Job Seekers, Career and Professional Development Series”.   It will be in the Druker Auditorium, immediately to your left  as you come in from the parking lot. The topic is “Reinventing Yourself in Today’s Economy.”   The speaker will be Danila Szekely, a professional career coach.  To hire a career coach can be expensive.  At the library you have access to her advice and get to ask her questions at no cost.

Abandoning  an  established career can be a very scary prospect. Leaving what you know will be  a challenge whatever the reason.  Perhaps you have been laid off or are unhappy in your current position.  Not sure what to do next to secure a safe landing?  Do you want to explore your options? Coming to this program will give you the opportunity to talk to others,  to receive advice, and to see how others are dealing with the situation you are facing.

If you feel you would like more information on this topic, either before or after the program, you may want to take a look at some of the books I have listed below.  If you click on a title that interests you, the link will take you to the book’s entry in our library’s catalog. Once there, you can click on listed subject headings to find additonal books on the same topic. You can come in, retrieve it (or them), check it (or them) out,  and use whatever  meets your needs.  You can also call the Reference Department and have one of us pull available books for you for pick up at the library.  Before 4:00 we can probably pull them that day, once we are off desk.  After 4:00 p.m. they will be pulled between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. the next morning.  Just make sure you have your Minuteman library card handy so we can put in the reserve.

General Books on Managing a Career Change:

Coach Yourself to a New Career: 7 Steps to Reinventing Your Professional Life by Talane Miedancer.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.  331.7 M58C

The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy by Pamela Mitchell.   New York: Dutton, 2010.  331.7 M69T

The Sequel: How to Change Your Career without Starting Over by Laurence Shatkin.  Indianapolis, IN:  JIST Works, 2011.  331.7 S53S

Strategies for Successful Career Change: Finding Your Very Best Next Work Life by Martha E. Mangelsdorf. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2009. 331.7 M31S

Related Books:

New Guide for Occupational Exploration: Linking Interests, Learning, and Careers by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin.  Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2006.  331.7 FARR

The Age Advantage: Making the Most of Your Midlife Career Transition by Jean Erickson Walker.  New York: Berkley, 2000.  658.4 W15A

Are There Any Good Jobs Left?: Career Management in the Age of the Disposable Worker by R. William Holland. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006. 331.7 H71A

I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work by Julie Jansen. New York: Penguin Books, 2010.  331.7 J26I

The Career Change Resume by Kim Isaacs. New York, 2003.  331.115 ISAACS

A Useful Website:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes The Occupational Outlook Handbook each year.  They also maintain a website by the same title but with additional information.Both have occupation based articles with sections that describe the nature of the work; training, other qualifications, and chances for advancement; employment opportunities; job outlook; earnings; related occupations; and sources of additional information.  Click here to link to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Online. When you have the time, make sure you explore the tabs.

Good luck with your search.  Hope to see you at the library on the 23rd.

vea/17 October 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide