Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Aaron: I found my current job through Adriane Juarez, who is the director of the Emporia State University Utah Cohort program.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Aaron: I have seen my fair share of awesome libraries. I once had a cousin give me a tour of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK. As part of my library program, I took a course titled “Post-Soviet Libraries.” Part of the course included a weeklong tour of Ukrainian libraries. My favorite was the Lviv University Library. It was this ancient library that had somehow survived two World Wars, the Ukrainian Genocide, and countless other atrocities. The librarians in Ukraine inspire me, and left me wanting to help out any way I can.
Naomi: Favorite book(s)?
Aaron: I’m very partial to history. Some of my favorite books are: Kon-Tiki, And the Dead Shall Rise, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924, Papa Married a Mormon, The Great Brain Series, and most everything that deals with British, Russian, or Utah History. If anyone has www.goodreads.com, you are welcome to add me to your friend list.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Aaron: I love the fact that we are able to access information in one sitting. I also like the fact that people are able to gather information from different parts of the world—something impossible twenty years ago. The technology might have changed, but the fact that we still are finding quality information for our patrons has not changed in the least.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Aaron: Inalj.com, of course. INALJ is awesome and has helped me with the job search. I’m also a sucker for www.stumbleupon.com. That’s how I actually found inalj.com. Meredith Farkas definitely inspires me. I would also recommend Andy Wibbels for excellent tidbits on technology. Matt Upson, a librarian who works at Emporia State University came up with a great idea using a comic book to market libraries, which I adore. I also am a big fan of www.mwdl.org. I also like to look at other library sites—especially international ones. The Vatican Library, the British Library, and the Swedish Library, are a few of my favorites. For job hunters in the Mountain West and the Plains Area, I would recommend MPLA.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Aaron: First of all, I understand what it feels like to start off without any experience. I have some advice, if you are just starting off in library school, I would start your job search now. I would also recommend starting an ePortfolio. When I began my job search, I wanted to have something to set me apart from everyone else. I think my ePortfolio at www.aaronnelson76.com did it.
The best advice I received came from Matt Upson. He told me to not send out 50-100 resumes, which some student’s do. Instead find five or ten jobs that fit your likes, interests, etc., and tailor your cover letter and resume to it. When I first started looking for jobs, I wasn’t interested in volunteering because let’s face it, working for free doesn’t feed the family—but it really works. Don’t be afraid to take a job just for the experience. In our field, experience matters.
The other piece of advice I received came from Adriane Juarez. “Always BE A PROFESSIONAL!” I will never forget her good words of advice. Most of all, her leadership qualities gives me a great example to follow.
My name is Aaron Nelson. I’m from Ogden, Utah. I work at Nightingale College of Nursing. I recently graduated from Emporia State University. It was a fantastic experience filled with traveling, learning different technologies, and being taught by top notch professors and mentors. Since I’m new to the library profession, I can definitely relate to those who are starting off brand new to the librarian job market. I love working with students, which is why I’m partial to academic libraries. In my spare time, I’m a history buff. I also love to experience different cultures. I’ve been to over thirty different countries.