AnnMarie Hurtado …In Six

My interview with INALJ success story AnnMarie

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
AnnMarie: I actually found my new job at Pasadena using INALJ! I have used your listserv for about a year when it was recommended to me by a librarian friend who I knew from LISSTEN (a student organization I was involved with at SJSU). I considered applying, and then visited Pasadena when the city hosted the 2011 conference for the California Library Association. They posted the job notice there, and it showed they were hiring for two different Librarian I positions. And seeing the vibrancy of the community, and everything the library system is doing, I just knew I had to apply, and that I would love it there!

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
AnnMarie: Hmm among public libraries, in terms of the way everything’s set up, I love the Santa Monica Public Library. It’s a fairly new building. They have great signage, technology, beautiful grounds with a central courtyard, and a unique circular setup to their building layout. It feels huge but not overwhelming, and it’s easy to find your way around, like a good bookstore.

In general, my favorite library or museum to visit is the Huntington Library in San Marino. I get goosebumps whenever I come within three feet of the Ellesmere manuscript 🙂 And the gardens are so gorgeous. I am so excited I will be able to visit it more and maybe take advantage of the free Thursdays when we move to nearby Pasadena!

Naomi: Favorite book?
AnnMarie: I was an English major, so my taste in literature might be a little different from most… But my all-time favorite book is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It’s so funny and sad, and the writing is simultaneously powerful and casual. I like the way he tells multiple narratives of this family story, and incorporates a lot of colorful Spanish words in the writing. It won a Pulitzer and a National Book Award, but if you’re not a fan of it just know it’s not for everybody because it’s more character-driven than plot-driven.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
AnnMarie: I love programs, finding creative and fun ways to get people in our doors. 🙂 And I like reading about the creative ways that public librarians connect with communities and bring people together, both inside and outside of the library. The definitions are changing and library programs are happening more and more outside the traditional boundaries, which is awesome!

One of the more general things about library technology that I love is online databases. I was blessed to work for a small city library that still had great online databases, and similarly I am going to love using Pasadena’s. It’s just so cool to be able to teach someone they can look up any newspaper, magazine or journal article by keywords going back as many as twenty years. The applications for student work are endless. I always try to educate students and parents of students when they come to me at the reference desk about the things our online databases can do for them.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
AnnMarie: Honestly once I found this resource I stopped worrying about most of the other sources I used to read (like CALIX) because the jobs almost always showed up here on INALJ. But I would recommend CALIX too as a good listserv for the California librarian or library student to read. If you want to find teacher librarian or classified library positions in public schools, definitely get on edjoin.org. I found my part-time school library position that way.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
AnnMarie: I applied to many, many jobs and went to a ton of interviews, but of course competition is very steep in this job market. I am so glad for this listserv, because it helped me to stay on top of all those job opportunities. If you’re using INALJ, you already have an advantage!! It’s very important to keep trying and not get discouraged or give up. You have to give yourself every opportunity, and take every interview as a chance to learn more and hone your skills. The more jobs you apply for, the better you get at applying and the better chances you have of landing one 🙂 Think about your personal qualities and what you bring to the job, and try to emphasize these in every answer during your interview. Always ask for the interviewers’ business cards so you can write thank-yous. Also, bring some materials that demonstrate your work–for example, if you have been published somewhere, talk about that, and show them the article. Bringing a few short pieces helps you to craft good answers and have physical evidence to demonstrate the skills you’re talking about. Good luck!!

AnnMarie Hurtado got her MLIS from San Jose State University in May 2011. She has worked since 2008 as a part-time Librarian assistant at Yorba Linda Public Library in Yorba Linda, CA, assisting in planning programs, fundraising, marketing, and working on two reference desks. For seven months she was also a part-time Educational Media Assistant at an elementary school in Fullerton, CA. She is excited to start working for the City of Pasadena as a Librarian I in May 2012.