Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Sarah: I started working for the Santa Barbara Public Library in 2008, as a Library Page. In 2010, I moved up to a Library Assistant position, at Montecito Library, a small branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library System. Last month, one of the Reference Librarians at the Central Library encouraged me to apply to a new Library Technician position in the reference department. The job was posted on the City website, and to be fair as a Head Editor of INALJ California, I also posted it on the INALJ California job page.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Sarah: I was in awe of the Seattle Central Library’s unique architecture, although I did not spend much time browsing the collection. I visited it before I ever worked at a library or considered becoming a librarian, so my opinion may be different the next time I visit.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Sarah: Just one? I have at least 10. I can’t give you one favorite book, but here is a list of my favorite authors: David Sedaris, Bill Bryson, Joan Didion, Roald Dahl, Jonathan Safran Foer, Milan Kundera, Kurt Vonnegut, Herman Hesse, Jeffery Euginedes, Mary Roach, Malcolm Gladwell, Haruki Murakami, and Vladmir Nabokov. I feel like I’m giving my Oscar speech, and leaving somebody really important out.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Sarah: Public Libraries give free access to books, technology, learning, and entertainment to everyone of all ages and backgrounds. I love being a part of that process, directly and indirectly. I’m directly involved when I help a patron find books, information or teach them how to use technology. I’m indirectly involved when I help with collection development and design flyers to encourage patrons to come to library events.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Sarah: Other than INALJ, I read library blogs infrequently. Annoyed Librarian is good. I’m part of several LinkedIn groups, including: ALA, Beyond MLIS, INALJ, LIS Career Options, and San Jose State University SLIS. A lot of the discussions are relatable and helpful for job hunters and people interested in learning more about non-traditional library-related jobs.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sarah: Be persistent. You may not hear from the first 20 jobs you apply for, but if you give up after that, you’ll never know that you may have received a call back from the next job opportunity. Sometimes you need to do what I did, start at an entry-level position to get your foot in the door and work your way up. If you are a good employee, the higher-ups will take notice.