I recently received the following tweets from an ‘aspiring’ librarian.

“Not to be nasty, but do any of the volunteers check links? I have been clicking on a lot of dead links in today’s digest :(”

“This isn’t something to get volunteers for? What good is a 150+ document if no one bothers to see if any of the links work? Just a thought.”

“I get this is a time-consuming ordeal, but as info pros, I am a little baffled by this policy.”

I asked for a list of links and this person never provided them. That would be the only helpful thing to do. Here are several thoughts on this:

1) Why in the world would you think it is a good idea to message someone a list of complaints, a list of assumptions, and not offer your help?

2) Links die. I would rather have duplicates or expired links than not include them at all. Every week I take out jobs more than 2 weeks old without an expiration date. This catches most dead links. If you want to volunteer to help with this email me at

3) Why would you insult and antagonize people who spend hours trying to get this information out to you if you are job hunting?

4) Why would it be a good idea to attach you name to a list of tweets that offer nothing constructive?

5) Never, ever, ever write “not to be nasty but” to anyone in our field. Ever.

6) Most of the links do work. Which is why I rarely get complaints. Of course most people, being true information professionals, provide me with a working link they found if they do find a broken link. That is being a real info pro. And without a list of non-working ones I can’t figure out if a specific volunteer is dropping the ball.

When I asked for a list of broken links they never responded. This is a small community and job hunting can be frustrating. Don’t be this person. I will not justify INALJ and how it is. It is how it is. We spend enough time doing it so unless you are volunteering to help, whether it is for INALJ or anywhere else, be careful of your tone. Do not insult. Do not assume. Do not be unhelpful.

This is basic manners. You don’t pay for INALJ. It is a volunteer based product. Librarianship in general is customer service based. How we treat each other should be no different than patrons.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (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 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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