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.