Amanda Qualls …In Six

My interview with success story, Amanda

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Amanda: I wasn’t really planning to start looking for a job until this winter, as I was not planning to finish up my Masters until December 2012 or May 2013, but on a whim I decided to put some feelers out to my ideal employers. One of those ideal employers was my alma mater, and amazingly an office that a former manager and friend was working in (and that I was very interested in) was looking for someone. I expressed my interest to her, she recommended me, and less than two months later I got an offer!

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Amanda: The Lilly Library at Indiana University (the rare books, manuscripts, and special collections library) has to be my favorite. Apart from being architecturally interesting and having some amazing holdings, the staff there are wonderful and make you feel so welcome, which isn’t always a given in the special collections world.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Amanda: My favorites always really depend on my mood, but I guess if I had to pick one this instant I would say J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?
Amanda: My favorite things about libraries are pretty old-fashioned and esoteric. First, I just love being around that many books! When I am in a library surrounded by print materials and digital information I am in awe of the breadth and depth of experiences in our world. Libraries make me feel humbled, empowered, and inspired.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Amanda: I recommend keeping an eye on the websites of professional library organizations outside of the United States, such as CILIP, LIANZA, and ALIA (these are all English-based, and you can add more for any other languages you know). It is good to keep an eye on jobs and the profession outside of our American/Canadian bubble!

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Amanda: Don’t be narrow-minded about the type of position you are looking for. I will be working in stewardship, assisting with acknowledging and thanking donors and encouraging them to continue giving to the university. These are donors who have created endowed professorships, named scholarships, library collections, and other programs, opportunities, and buildings on campus. Though it isn’t within the library, it is a great fit for me, my skills, and interests, and one that I never would have sought out but am amazingly excited for. Keep an open mind, and if a position seems interesting to you – even if library or librarian isn’t in the title – give it a go!

Amanda Qualls is the Acknowledgement Administrative Assistant within the department of university relations at the University of Notre Dame. She will receive her MLS in December 2012 from Indiana University-Bloomington, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Art History and Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She has previously worked in nonprofits, libraries, museums, the publishing industry, and in higher education. She is a lover of animals, National Public Radio, reading, traveling, and winter, which is without question the most beautiful and magical time of the year.

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 18 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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