Nick Steffel …Success Story

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

My interview with success story Nick from 6/19/12


Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Nick: INALJ! It was funny, actually, since the job was in the same LIS department where I was a student at the time. I actually saw it posted on INALJ even before I’d heard anyone talking about it on campus.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Nick: Probably the Amsterdam Central Library. I wound up there completely by accident while I was looking for something else, but ended up spending a good couple of hours wandering around it. It’s a huge library — the biggest public library in Europe, apparently — with some really great common areas and lots of computers and multimedia listening stations.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Nick: That’s a tough one. I’d probably have to say 1984 by George Orwell. It was one of the first serious novels I read when I was younger and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s also one of those books I go back and re-read pretty much every year; I always find something new I’d missed.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Nick: I think what interests me the most is related to the oft-cited statistic that a majority of existing librarians (in the US, anyway) will retire over the next decade or so. I think it will be fascinating to see such a huge shift in the profession as so many new people with different skills and backgrounds enter and start reshaping librarianship. It’s an opportunity I don’t think a lot of other professions ever get.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Nick: I’ve always found Jessamyn West (www.librarian.net / @jessamyn on Twitter) to be really thought-provoking as well as wryly amusing. I think our profession really needs to stay at the forefront of the discussion on civil liberties and technology too — for that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org / @EFF) and the OpenNet Initative (www.opennet.net / @OpenNet) are certainly worth checking in on from time to time.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Nick: I’m sure I’ll be far from the first person to say it, but you’ve gotta network with people. While I’m a pretty reserved guy, I still tried to reach out and meet people by volunteering, doing internships, keeping in touch with our school’s adjunct faculty, and joining local professional groups. It made all the difference to have them keeping me in the loop on jobs around town and being willing to step up to bat for me as a reference or a recommendation.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Nick Steffel is the newly hired IT Coordinator and an adjunct faculty member at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. A lifelong geek and technological jack-of-all-trades, Nick has worked in various IT capacities over the last 8 years. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2005 with a degree in History and earned his MLIS in 2012 from St. Catherine University. He has also developed and presented on dublincoregenerator.com, an online tool he developed for working with Dublin Core metadata.

formerly titled: Nick Steffel …In Six

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list 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 19.5 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 has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 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 has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website, KhanMoving.com, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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