Shift Happens

by Christina Wilson, Head Editor, INALJ Alberta

Shift Happens

christina1Recently I attended a student-run conference at the School of Library Science (SLIS), University of Alberta (Friday, February 8th), motivated by the opportunity to re-connect with colleagues and network for my next job, given that I’ve just re-located to the community.   It was useful to meet the faculty teaching Alberta’s next crop of librarians and hear the SLIS students present their interests and research.   But the best part of the day was the presence of Canada’s library guru, Stephen Abram, whose talk “Working in the Information Future:  Non-traditional Paths in Library Work” was equal parts scary, positive and thought provoking.  Eloquently knitting together insights on future trends and the changing work landscape, Stephen outlined how library workers must adjust attitudes to stay relevant and keep up with changing behaviours and expectations of our clientele(s). 

The good news is that we’re experiencing an information and knowledge based economy, so skills learned in the library field are “extraordinarily relevant”.  The trick for job seekers is to re-phrase our library learned skills and competencies and apply them to the trends and issues being experienced in other sectors.  The knowledge economy is a huge opportunity that we are uniquely trained to embrace.  Several sample lists were presented during the talk, now posted on and “Stephen’s Lighthouse” located at:  A version of the talk is also available at: . It’s really the best way to absorb the full  presentation on why library skills are the best preparation for the shifting economy and, consequently,  work.   Other Stephen Abram talks are available on YouTube, his presentations are throughout and also available at numerous library and information technology conference proceedings.   Stephen Abram’s fresh take on the library field will help you stay engaged and prepared for your role in the shifting information economy.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.