by Amanda Viana, Head Editor, INALJ Massachusetts
Leveraging the power of your state
One of the things successful librarians do is get to know their community. They find a way to become imbedded in community events and get to know the characteristics that make their communities unique. Whether it’s finding the most popular town event (where I work it’s the annual Halloween Parade) or partnering with other municipal groups, local businesses and restaurants to provide fun, unique programs and services, the starting point is getting to know the community and then using that knowledge as a stepping-stone to providing better service.
INALJ underwent a major change this year, one that has had a huge impact on the way that the site is managed and the way that people use it. We’ve gotten excellent feedback and I believe that the success is, in part, due to the concentration that each Head Editor gets to devote to their state. INALJ has always been a massive undertaking that required a lot of coordination and work; by reorganizing the site Naomi has opened up a way for Head Editors to really maximize their ability to find and organize jobs by letting them concentrate on one state; one community.
So what does this mean for you, the job seeker? In addition to getting to use a wonderful resource like INALJ, you can also take advantage of our strategy. Get to know your state (even if it’s not where you live but where you’re looking to relocate). Find out what its strengths are, what its major industries are. What are the unique aspects of the neighborhoods in its major cities? Where are the institutes of higher education? Museums? Tech sectors? Investigate institutions where you might like to work, even if they aren’t currently hiring. We got a lot of comments (good and bad) about the variety of jobs we offer and how many of them are not in traditional library settings. This is completely intentional because we believe that many employers are looking for librarians and information professionals—they just don’t know it yet. So get to know your state, learn the community, and then make yourself a place in it.