Ashley Wilson …In Six

My interview with success story Ashley

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Ashley: By scouring city and county websites every day for nearly six months. I made a list of all the websites that had relevant jobs and blocked out time each day to check out if anything new had been posted.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Ashley: My favorite library is definitely the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, VT. I may be a little biased since I worked there for three years, but it’s a very open and welcoming environment with a large selection of materials. The children’s area is housed in the original library building and it quite charming.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Ashley: This is a tough one! I have about a dozen books that I love to read over and over again, but the one I return to the most is Tithe by Holly Black. That whole trilogy is wonderful! It’s whimsical but the themes are very relevant to adults. I’ve been a fan for years.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ashley: My favorite thing about library technology has to be the e-reader. I know, I know; some librarians think e-books are blasphemous. My take on them is that they get more people reading, which is really the ultimate goal. Why should it matter what format people are using as long as they’re reading?

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Ashley: None that I can think of off the top of my head. I stuck mostly to local websites for my job search so unless you’re looking in CA my websites won’t be much use!

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ashley: Don’t get discouraged! I was rejected by numerous employers and was basically unemployed for five months before I got this job. If the first job you land is part-time (or barely that, like mine was at eight hours a week), take that as a positive sign and keep looking until you find the job you really want. Also, don’t over-analyze your interviews once they’re finished. I was sure I bombed this one and ended up with the job!

I’m Ashley, a twenty-something who moved from Upstate NY to the San Francisco Bay Area to find a job in public libraries. I started my librarianship journey as a freshman in college without even knowing I was doing so. I found a work-study job in a public library and ended up loving it, but not really thinking about it as a career (because who knows anything about MLS programs at that age). A chat with a coworker led to the discovery of library school and various other library jobs, including positions at both medical and anthropology libraries. Fortunately I’ve made my way back to the realm of public libraries. I start my new job on May 14; here’s hoping it works out!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s 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.com. INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk 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 a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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