The Week in INALJ Non-Library Job Interviews : May 26-29, 2020

by Naomi House, MLIS

The Week in INALJ Non-Library Job Interviews :
May 26-29, 2020

Week 1 INALJ Non-Library Jobs Interview photos of Nicole Fonsh (upper left0, Ta-Shire Tribbett (upper right), Samantha King (lower left) and Adaliz N Cruz (lower right)Welcome to the first weekly summary of INALJ’s 2020 series on non-library jobs for library workers and those with their MLIS.

I am grateful for the time and expertise of all of this week’s interviewees. The aim of the weekly summary is to give a snapshot of the top two takeaways for each interview, then as a value-add I have included further resources for each job title, with an emphasis on jobs resources, associations, and certifications.

As always INALJ remains free and accessible to all with a focus on LIS (library and information science) folk. If you find value in our labor consider contributing. Employers can sponsor a job (which is the funding for the site) or post free jobs and readers can donate. If you would like to contribute your own non-library job career story please email naomi dot house at inalj dot com. I hope you enjoy the series and gain knowledge that helps you in your own job hunt or career.

Here are this week’s 6 interview summaries:

Skip ahead to what to expect next week!


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Electronic File Analyst Summary

I got the week started with 3 fantastic interviews with Samantha King, beginning with “On Electronic File Analyst Work : an Interview with Samantha King.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “Data roles are generally a great field for more technically minded LIS workers because they allow for a lot more freedom in terms of where you can take your career.”
  • “Key skills are really having an excellent understanding of Excel (pivot tables, vlookups, and complex if statements), a good understanding of technology in general (if you know the difference between ANSI and UTF-8, you’re ahead of the game), and being able to simplify complicated ideas to explain them to people.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Electronic File Analyst Work : an Interview with Samantha King.”

Further Resources for Electronic File Analyst Jobs

  • Keyword searches for analyst positions on both major library jobs boards like INALJ, SLA and ALA, as well as job aggregators like Indeed and LinkUp are key.
  • There are certification options as well as online classes that may help. It may also help to broaden your search to Data Analyst / Data Management positions and certifications/classes. Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP) is one type. Additionally there are more niche associations that focus on health data like the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), for example, so cast a wide net and look for general sites like DAMA, but also look at more specific ones as well.  I recommend reaching out to these associations, or someone you know in the field who can answer to their value.


*****

Business Analyst Summary

This is the second of my interviews with Samantha King, “On Business Analyst Work : an Interview with Samantha King.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “LIS workers are excellent at keeping information and people organized, at translating needs between different groups, and at doing research to make sure that the result meets those needs. All of those are key soft skills for a business analyst.”
  • “In a lot of ways, it’s like a reader advisory, only really really in depth.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Business Analyst Work : an Interview with Samantha King.”

Further Resources for Business Analyst Jobs

  • Keyword searches for analyst positions on both major library jobs boards like INALJ, SLA and ALA, as well as job aggregators like Indeed and LinkUp are key.
  • Certified Business Analysis Professional is the certification that Samantha mentioned in her interview. There are several options including Udemy and IIBA, but as Samantha notes, you have to have experience as well as classwork to qualify for certification.
  • There are also online classes that may help. I recommend reaching out to these associations, or someone you know in the field who can answer to their value.


*****

Product / Data Owner Summary

My last interview with Samantha King, “On Product/Data Owner Work : an Interview with Samantha King.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “It relies heavily on relationship management, requirements gathering, and organization of information, which are all fields that can be learned at least partially through an MLIS.”
  • “There are designations and certifications, but I think having BA and Project Management certification or at least training is far more critical.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Product/Data Owner Work : an Interview with Samantha King.”

Further Resources for Product / Data Owner Jobs

  • This is not an entry level job, and Samantha does a great job in her interview of taking us through a typical career path that leads to this type of position. So instead of focusing on job ads with these key terms she mentions getting experience and certification in Project Management.
  • There are certification options as well as online classes that may help. I recommend reaching out to associations but only if you are already working in a job that has this type of growth potential.  As Samantha notes, “having BA and Project Management certification or at least training is far more critical” to success at this level.


*****

Prospect Development & Prospect Research Summary

This fantastic interview with Nicole Fonsh introduced one of the most popular non-library jobs fields to library workers, “On Prospect Development & Prospect Research Work : an Interview with Nicole Fonsh.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “We live in the grey and we live with a lot of unanswered questions. But the continued interest in wanting to answer those questions and to find the best pathway towards those answers is what really drives us.”
  • “SHARE YOUR FINANCIAL STORY WITH PEOPLE. Career conversations often don’t mean a lot if we aren’t honest about our privilege (both race and class) and how we got somewhere.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Prospect Development & Prospect Research Work : an Interview with Nicole Fonsh.”

Further Resources for Prospect Development & Prospect Research Jobs

  • Association Jobs Boards include APRA Career website and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Career Center. Keywords to look out for in your job search include “prospect research,” “development” especially within a development office at a college/university, or other type of org, and “fundraising.” INALJ covers these too.
  • There are certification options as well as online classes that may help. I recommend reaching out to these associations, or someone you know in the field who can answer to their value.


*****

Insights Design Coordinator Summary

This intriguing interview with Ta-Shirè Tribbett introduces the value of complimentary advanced degrees to library workers outside academia and beyond the MLIS, “On Insights Design Coordinator Work : an Interview with Ta-Shirè Tribbett.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “UX and librarianship go hand-in-hand. The reference interview easily lends itself to the user interview. Structural design of online environments lends itself to the concept of cataloging, and so on.”
  • “While deploying our new library catalog I became very interested in taxonomy and information architecture and I found a graduate degree program that combined my newfound interests with my skillset.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Insights Design Coordinator Work : an Interview with Ta-Shirè Tribbett.”

Further Resources for Insights Design Coordinator Jobs

  • Many LIS workers who aspire to be academic librarians know that having a second subject specialty Master’s degree can be helpful, and may even be required to get hired. Ta-Shirè showed us in her interview how a second Information Science Master’s degree can help you get a better job outside libraries, specifically she earned her  Masters in Information Architecture and Interaction Design .
  • When looking for jobs search for taxonomy and UX jobs. Association jobs sites like Interaction Design Association (IxDA) as well as the major library jobs boards like INALJ, SLA and ALA, and job aggregators like Indeed and LinkUp, which are two of the many that businesses commonly use.
  • In addition to the various degrees iSchools and other universities offer, there are certification options as well as online classes that may help. I recommend reaching out to these associations, or someone you know in the field who can answer to their value.


*****

Information Services Summary

Adaliz N. Cruz helpfully speaks to the parallels between non-traditional and traditional jobs in, “On Information Services Work : an Interview with Adaliz N. Cruz.” Two key takeaways from the interview:

  • “I like to think of corporate librarianship as a parallel field to “traditional” librarianship … The difference between “traditional” libraries and corporate libraries are the patrons and their focus. “
  • “You don’t have to know exactly what these terms mean, you just have to know to match what the requester wants with the information in front of you. You will learn the terms along the way.”
  • Read the full interview and more tips “On Information Services Work : an Interview with Adaliz N. Cruz.”

Further Resources for Information Services Jobs

  • As Adaliz pointed out in her interview, the key to finding Information Services jobs is in using the correct keywords, whether on an employer site or on a job aggregator site. Keyword searches for analyst positions on both major library jobs boards like INALJ, SLA and ALA, as well as job aggregators like Indeed and LinkUp, which are two of the many that businesses commonly use. She recommended searching “researcher”, “taxonomist”, “information services.” I further recommend using the list of Keywords of Job searching on the left sidebar on INALJ.
  • There are certification options as well as online classes that may help. I recommend reaching out to these associations, or someone you know in the field who can answer to their value.


*****
Next week I will share interviews from those working in the following fields:

  • Research Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Client Analyst, Data
  • GIS (Geographic Information System)
  • Due Diligence
  • Training Consultant
  • Development / Prospect Research

I will continue to run interviews as long as I have them throughout the summer along with other series as yet to be determined. Looking forward to sharing more job fields and more perspectives from LIS Pros / Info Pros who work in non-library jobs. If you are interested in being interviewed for this series, and you are working in a non-library position please email me at naomi dot house at inalj dot com. I am open to those with education and experience in the other GLAM fields as well.

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Views expressed are those of the interviewees and not INALJ or their employer. Photos provided by the interviewees and permission granted to use them for these interviews.

All INALJ Library and LIS jobs may be found here. How to Sponsor or Post a Job information here.

 

Updated 6/16/2020 : changed the “and” in the title to “&” for consistency across the interview series

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource INALJ.com (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.com. 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. 

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