Naomi House’s interview with success story Karen.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Karen: A classmate from GSLIS e-mailed me. She wasn’t sure if I was still looking for work or not, but she reached out to me. I’m definitely grateful she did. It taught me the importance of keeping my LinkedIn up to date. People notice, even if you don’t think about it.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Karen: This is difficult. I really loved the Bodleian Library in Oxford, but because I didn’t have a reader’s card, I couldn’t go in. However, I have been in the Harold Washington Library, which I find amazing. I love the architecture of Harold Washington Library. It brings together classic architecture, with a modern library outlook.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Karen: This question is too hard. I can barely name a favorite author. One influential book in my life has been the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, which fostered my love of the fantasy genre. However, I don’t think I can name a single book. A couple authors whose work I adore include, Patricia Briggs, Michelle Sagara, and Jim Butcher. I read across multiple other genres too, but I enjoy the way that fantasy plays with the possibilities.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Karen: What I love about libraries is that we try to help people better themselves. I love that library technology can help people better themselves. When I was working as a clerk in the public library many of the programs put on were helping people improve computer skills or job hunt. In my academic library we are also trying to help our students figure out the complicated process of searching for a professional job for the first time.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Karen: I follow INALJ, which I found to be a great resource. If you’re in the northern Illinois area, I used RAILS, which is a great resource. I also followed Hiring Librarians, which shows the search process from the other side of the table. As well as Open Cover letters, which demonstrates well written cover letters in the library world.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Karen: Even when it feels personal, it isn’t. I found that so hard to hear during my job search, but it leads into the second part of my advice. Don’t give up. It took me eighteen months to find my job.
Karen Klein is a librarian, which really means she is a bookworm of many stripes. She can often be seen curled up with a cup of tea and good book. Or curled around her laptop, writing. She graduated from the University of Illinois’ GSLIS program in May of 2012. Her interests lie in public services such as reference, instruction, and providing excellent customer service. Karen wants to help students of different levels be able to find the information they need as well as know how to use it. Karen is currently employed as the Learning Resource Center Manager at Strayer University; this is her first librarian job post-MLS.
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