Naomi House’s interview with success story and INALJ Arkansas Head Editor, Fallon.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Fallon: I actually just happened to use my networking and bragging on myself skills to get it. I was working in a different department and when I heard that another GIS tech was leaving, I sort of pounced on the supervisor and let him know that I was very interested and did he know that I just finished my MLIS and had SQL and Excel skills? Cut to several weeks later and a brand new position was created for me and I was hired the same day as the interview!
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Fallon: Well, I do love my local ones, the Bentonville Public Library (http://bentonvillelibrary.org/) and the Fayetteville Public Library (http://www.faylib.org/), but I think my favorite one I’ve ever been inside of is the Library of Congress. However, I absolutely loved the National Library of Greece when I studied abroad in Athens (http://www.nlg.gr/www/el/node/133), even if I never set foot inside of it. It was just such a beautiful building.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Fallon: For job related purposes, Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn was so helpful. It really gave me a lot more confidence in my ability to sell myself. And hey, I finished it a month ago and look at how quickly I was able to get a job! For pleasure, I have always loved The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline, and pretty much anything by Libba Bray.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Fallon: As dorky as it sounds, I love helping people. I love being able to merge my love of history with my love of helping people and seeing libraries digitize and transcribe letters from the Civil War or maps from the 1600s. It’s amazing to see how great our technology has become and how much it provides people for free.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Fallon: Magpie Librarian, the Libraries Changed My Life tumblr (for warm fuzzy feelings), Librarian Wardrobe, and of course, my Emerging Leaders project Librarians Build Communities (http://www.librariansbuildcommunities.com/). Oh and Book Riot! and Bookslut are just fabulous blogs to read for book reviews and such.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Fallon: Don’t give up! Take breaks when necessary, but don’t give up because the jobs will show up, you just have to be persistent. I applied to my part-time job 4 times before they finally gave me an interview and I got it. I’ve been on the job hunt for 6 years and while I’ve been down on job hunting, I’ve never fully given up. If this is your dream, go for it and be willing to take the risk of having to wait a few years to find it.
I became a librarian because of a recommendation by a great professor in my undergrad days (thanks, Dr. Shackelford!). I got my first library job 2 years ago, but have been on the job hunt for around 6 years now. I just finished my MLIS through Rutgers’ online program and was happy to be a 2013 ALA Emerging Leader. I love books, obviously, but I also love history and technology and found out that being a librarian is the best of all of those worlds.
In my non-existent free time, besides reading, I’m catching up on movies, chasing down my family tree, and watching loads of tv!
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