Naomi House’s interview with success story Marta.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Marta: The short answer is I got lucky and had the skill set that managers in my library system were looking for to fill one of four new internal positions at the library system where I work in Western Washington. Since then I’ve heard competition was fierce for these four slots. The four of us who were picked all bring different strengths to the position and that has been really fun to see.
The long answer is I took advantage of training and other opportunities I had during the past 2 1/2 years both internally with Sno-Isle Libraries and externally, though ALA or the Washington Library Association. During my job search, my supervisors offered fabulous advice. I can’t emphasis how helpful it is to have a boss who also supports employees’ long-term goals and advocates for his or her employees.
I’ve also applied to other systems and received a number of what could be called “good rejections.” Basically, the hiring manager would call and say something like: We really like you and want you to apply again; you came really close, or We really like you and would like to see you apply for a position where you’ll be able to interact with patrons more because we think one of your strengths is customer service.
I think all of those experiences honed my abilities as a library professional and as an applicant. I was spectacularly amazed that I was one of four people tapped for these new slots. Right how, I am enjoying the challenge and growth opportunities that this position is giving me.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Marta: I can’t just pick just one. So many libraries have something special that resonates with me.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Marta: Again I can’t just love only one. I love genre fiction, mystery, sf/f, and romantic suspense. Recent discoveries include: N.K. Jemisin (http://nkjemisin.com/) and Michael Connelly’s (http://www.michaelconnelly.com/) Harry Bosch
Current favorites include Devon Monk http://www.devonmonk.com/ and Cherie Priest http://www.cheriepriest.com/ and the mean and magical streets of Chicago with Jim Butcher’s (http://www.jim-butcher.com/) Harry Dresden. (What’s there not to love about wizardly private investigator who reanimated a museum’s T-Rex skeleton into as a battle steed?)
For the commute to work, it’s Carl Hiaasen’s and Terry Pratchett’s YA books in audio format, downloaded from my library to my smart phone.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Marta: For an information junkie, a library and all its services are as addictive as crack cocaine without the life-threatening side affects. For me, one of the most exciting things about libraries and technology is everything is in flux and each day I learn something new.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Marta: Again, it’s hard to pick only one. For general librarianship news and ideas, I recommend setting your RSS feeds set to Library as Incubator http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/ and Library Journal and School Library Journal.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Marta: I learned this from one of my bosses at Sno-Isle, a job interview is similar to a reference interview in that, you have to figure out the question behind the question. Once you know the real question the folks interviewing you are really asking, then answer that question.
Something that I would pass onto other library professionals is: Don’t approach finding a job as if it were a sprint that won’t take much time. Job hunting is more like training and racing an ultra marathons and the approach you take and goals you set will need to change as the economic conditions change and as you as a professional change. For me, each race, each workout and even, each stumble, help me build skills and learn lessons (or relearn lessons) that will help me grow and figure out what sorts of jobs and goals that I’m suited for.
Marta Murvosh, MLS, is a recovering journalist who works as as a library associate for a regional library system in Northwestern Washington, where she helps patrons find information books and figure out various technological devices. She also freelances for Library Journal and School Library Journal and is a member of the Washington Library Association, ALA and two journalism professional associations. Her to-be-read pile has reached dangerous heights. You can follow her at www.facebook.com/MartaMurvosh.
Photo © Jay Lake/2012 – all rights reserved,
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