Michael Hughes …In Six

My interview with success story Michael

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Michael: I first found it on LISjobs.com, but it showed up in the INALJ, too.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Michael: I’m a Shakespeare nerd, so the Folger Library in D.C. is a real treat. Just look at this reading room; it could be Hogwarts. http://www.folger.edu/imgdtl.cfm?imageid=775&cid=2471

Naomi: Favorite book?
Michael: The most important books I’ve read are Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Michael: The library really is (or can be, with adequate staff and funding) the people’s university. It’s a cliche, perhaps, but a good one. Libraries are one of the best institutions we have for leveling the playing field across demographic demarcations, providing free access to quality education, cultural enrichment, entertainment, and professional development to all people everywhere.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Michael: I can’t think of any job sites that you aren’t already combing. I regularly scoped LISjobs.com, ALA JobLIST, the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed, Higher Ed Jobs, and LibGig. We need an INALJ wiki!

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Michael: Applicants are well advised to avoid template cover letters and to customize each to the job, but neither should they be afraid to reuse those sections that don’t change from letter to letter. This is especially true for applicants fresh out of library school, whose experience remains more or less static until landing that first job. Save most of your customization for the first and second paragraphs where you address yourself to the unique qualities of and programs at the library. Knowing what to reuse and what to write from scratch will save you a lot of time and frustration.

I was born in Utah, raised in Texas, and rambled across the Southwest before a copy of Don Borchert’s Free for All fell into my hands like a one-way ticket to Libraryland.

I enrolled at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science in the Fall of 2010, and since then I’ve developed a strong and growing interest in the open access movement, information literacy, scholarly communication, emerging technologies, and providing timely, reliable, and accurate information of the highest quality to every patron in need of it.

Whenever my cat isn’t warming herself on my laptop, I write book reviews for the San Antonio Express-News. I’m also a compulsive record collector, a cinema geek, an occasional gamer, and a coffee drinker nonpareil. I like Red Vines more than Twizzlers, Beatles over Elvis, sci-fi for grownups, and I’ll never apologize for loving Steely Dan.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.