Interview with success story Sarah!
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Sarah: INALJ! (Thanks, Naomi– I’ll be donating from my first paycheck!) My job hunting strategy was to monitor the websites of the library systems in my area, since their postings often did not appear elsewhere, and then scan INALJ daily. My husband and I had been talking about maybe moving somewhere new, when this position-Early Literacy Outreach Librarian with the Denver Public Library-popped up, and I thought, “Why not… I’ll never get it anyway.” And that, I suppose, is precisely why “never say never” is such a popular adage.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Sarah: Hmmm… that’s a toughie! I’m loving the Children’s Library here at the Denver Public Library’s Central Branch, but was also really impressed with Howard County’s Central Branch. The Takoma Park branch of the DC Public Library feels like what a library should be– lots of hard wood, some cozy chairs and then all the latest and greatest content!
Naomi: Favorite book?
Sarah: All time- Pride and Prejudice. Current- Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Sarah: Librarians! My colleagues and peers continue to impress me with their dedication to and innovations in serving customers, often with dwindling or outdated resources.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Sarah: We talked about The Birthday Party Pledge at a staff meeting to talk about introducing more diverse literature into storytimes and to parents and caregivers. The Birthday Party Pledge is a really great project aimed at getting multicultural books into the hands of the children in your life; at the same time, it helps send a message to publishers that the demand for these books exists and hopefully helps motivate them to increase the diversity in children’s literature.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sarah: I had a former coworker tell me that “the best defense is a multi-option offense,” and that’s how I approached this job hunt. I applied for anything that sounded engaging. Tailor your resume and cover letter to each position, but it doesn’t hurt to cast a wide net. I would also say that a thank you email never hurts. I completely whiffed an interview question (they asked for a recently published children’s book appropriate for a preschool storytime; I panicked and gave them the very appropriate but ancient Trucks by Donald Crews, published in the ‘70s) and used my thank you note to put a very brief plug in for a different, more recent, choice.
I just started as the Early Literacy Outreach Librarian with the Denver Public Library, which I applied for from my home in Washington, DC; the western migration has been a big change! I got my
MLS from the University of Maryland in 2011 and had been thinking records management was my home, but fell in love with public library services, particularly for young adults and children. Outside of the library, I love hiking with my family (which includes our dog, Midnight, who we prefer to call Mad-Eye Middles), finding new restaurants, exploring Denver, cooking, and playing on my fiddle (New Years Resolution: learn to play the fiddle… my neighbors really like me).