This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions
Reposted from 4/6/12 & 8/30/12
My interview with success story Ryan
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Ryan: I found my current position at the Maine State Library Job List. I really wanted to move back to New England, so I created a portfolio of region-specific resources long before applying anywhere. After identifying specific institutions I wanted to work for, I constantly monitored their employment pages.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Ryan: The Main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is a beautiful building with a lot of natural light and a rich sense of history. And it is only a few blocks from Pitt, so I did a lot of school work there.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Ryan: It varies so much that I hate to play favorites. However, some recent favorites include A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf by John Muir. Before the semester began, I was reading Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash and I look forward to finishing it when I am done with school.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ryan: I love digital libraries. While the library as a destination will always be important, digital libraries can function in a similar way. One of my favorite collections is at the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They have a wonderful online archive of biodiversity audio and video. No matter where I am, I can go there and shut out the world.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Ryan: I am a huge fan of Open Cover Letters and Hack Library School. And Scholarly Communications @ Duke is a great place to stay up on copyright issues.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ryan: Use your skills as an information professional to find jobs that aren’t heavily advertised. Also, keep in mind that a resume is a living document that you can tailor to specific positions. Use the position description to create talking points for your cover letter. I found a helpful guide to creating a professional reference list includes annotations. Annotations save time for those with hiring power!! Take advantage of opportunites with local professional organizations. The Pittsburgh chapter of the Special Libraries Association helped me network and learn about new opportunities for MLIS grads. Mine your work history for relevant experience. Even non-library jobs can be relevant. Get as much library experience as you can. Get an internship. Volunteer if you have to. Many nonprofits, historical societies and museums need professionally trained librarians and may have projects available. Some allow for distance work. Be flexible!! You may have to relocate or take a position you are overqualified for. If it fits into your long range goals, go for it! Research the institution that grants you an interview. Dress up for phone interviews. Most of all, stay positive!!
My name is Ryan Jones and this month I will graduate with an MLIS from The University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science. As an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, I majored in natural resource and environmental economics and worked as a library assistant. I recently interned at Carnegie Mellon University, where I researched standardized usage statistics fore-resources and e-books in academic settings. I also digitized archival materials at Pitt’s Digital Research Library and volunteered at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. This summer, I will start my new job at the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library. In the future, I hope to land my dream job as a librarian for the National Park Service. Right now, I am thrilled to be moving back to New England, where I will be snuggly nestled between the mountains and the ocean and exploring the region’s public lands in my free time.