Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Aaron: While I can’t exactly call it my current job, since it doesn’t start until the day before Valentine’s, I found it in a roundabout way. I was referred to a webinar on job search strategies, and near the end someone posted something to the effect of they were looking for a science librarian, and gave their e-mail. After asking if my background looked good, they forward my resume to their HR contact. The whole interview process took 3 weeks from e-mailing my resume to job offer, with 2 phone and in person interviews each, first for the company that is hiring me, and then for the company I am being outsourced to.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Aaron: While certainly not the biggest, there is a wonderful small public library in my hometown, known as the “Box of Books” which is about the size of a decent 1 bedroom apartment, but it is a fantastic little place, with an excellent children’s section that my nephews are rather enamored of, and does a lot of technology education in addition to providing access.
Naomi: Favorite book(s)?
Naomi: The Magus by John Fowles is a fantastic book, and probably my favorite. The strange tale of a somewhat pretentious middle class Englishman who gets a job teaching English to school children on a Greek island, but gets drawn into the strange affairs of a man named Conchis. The whole thing is brilliantly written, and while very long, worth the time. While you hear this from so many things, it really will keep you guessing right up to the end. Competing with it is Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. Getting past the odd part of having a human who somehow survives the surface of Mars, it is the story of a man raised in another culture who comes back to earth, and is a fantastic lens through which to view and discuss religion, language, and the general human condition as only the great classics of science fiction could manage.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Aaron: Citation and fact checking. Especially in the current climate of politics, the ability to check the information you are getting is a powerful thing. That combined with the numerous open source information resources, either Wikipedia, governmental, academic repositories, or MIT Open Course Ware, and anyone with time and inclination can learn nearly anything for free.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Aaron: None that haven’t been mentioned, but my main suggestion is one of taxonomy. The job I now have completely bypassed any of the job alerts I had delivering to my e-mail, as it never used the word “librarian.” As this site and blog have pointed out repeatedly, a wide range of jobs that the skillset of MLS and MLIS degrees are capable of never use the word library or librarian. Try to find out job titles from people you know with jobs you would like and try to add those terms in to your search methodology, and you may find any number of jobs that otherwise might have passed you by.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Naomi: Keep going. The day that I did that webinar I was applying to PNC Bank to be a loan reviewer, as I wanted to try and get any job I could in Pittsburgh to get back near my friends there. Then I went from zero to job in three weeks. If you have the skills, there is a job. There is no harm in finding something in the interim, but keep plugging away and you’ll find the job you want, though it might not be where you expected.
Aaron Crandall is a chemist, librarian, amateur bartender, gamer, reader, zombie aficionado, and general information junkie about to start a corporate library job in New Jersey.