Naomi House’s interview with success story and INALJ California Assistant Editor, Matthew.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Matthew: I had friends from library school looking out for me, and one that was in-the-know told me about a position that would be opening soon. She forwarded the posting to me the next day, and I applied as quickly as humanly possible.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Matthew: Technically not a library (though it does have a reading room, so I’m counting it), but the Culture House in Reykjavik, Iceland, holds a special place in my heart. Seeing some of the old, original sagas perfectly preserved and on display there kickstarted my interest in archives, which led me to enroll in library school in the first place. I was taking my first classes within the year.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Matthew: Watership Down by Richard Adams–it’s a hopeful, sad, and often horrifying book about bunnies. It destroys me every time.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Matthew: With my position, I’ll be the one who gets to introduce public library staff and administration to new technological concepts as they become available, and I love the idea that I’m helping them (and by extension, all their patrons) become better prepared for the future. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Matthew: The OA Tracking Project (@oatp) is a great way to stay up-to-date on Open Access-related projects around the world. Of course, Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) and boingboing.net are great for intellectual freedom and other fun topics.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Matthew: If you’re still in library school, make friends and keep in touch. They are your best and most easily acquired resource. You never know what doors they’ll be able to open for you in the future. Also, when you’re all job hunting at the same time, they can provide an excellent support group.
Matthew Kirby is the assistant director of the Falling Water River Regional Library, a division of the Tennessee State Library & Archives. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s School of Information Sciences. In his spare time, he volunteers as an assistant on INALJ’s California page, trains for marathons, and serves as a founding board member of a local private school. He also has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of superheroes that he hopes will one day become useful. He and his wife are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child, a daughter, this fall.
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