Naomi House’s interview with success story Karen.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Karen: In the last semester of my MLIS program, I applied for an internship locally. While there, I applied through the Broward County careers website through the advice of my supervisor while on my internship at Tamarac Library. After my graduation, I continued to volunteer at the internship in the Youth Services area.
After several months, I was called in for an interview and was offered a position at Weston Library in Weston, Florida for a Youth Services librarian. Its the area I really wanted to be in from the get go, even before I wanted to apply to library school. I made sure to have the internship to really make sure it was what I really wanted and whether I was comfortable with the public and working with teens and younger kids.
I wanted to make sure I had a job after I was done with school, I knew a lot of alumni who did not have a job despite graduating with their MLIS. I think its important for schools to require an internship to graduate, similar to the University of Illinois @ Urbana Chapaign(U of I). I don’t feel you learn a lot when its all hypothetical in classes. I learned a lot in my time as an intern and a volunteer. I was able to experience the library behind the scenes as an outsider.
I feel very lucky and fortunate that I was able to get a job so quickly after graduation. It really helped that I had the inside track through my co workers and I knew what to expect on the interview and what kinds of questions could be possibly be asked. It really gave me a leg up for my interview.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Karen: The Chicago Public Library is beautiful! Its 7 floors and also boasts a lovely cafe for its patrons. I used to library hop when I was in high school/college with a friend of mine and it allowed me to see many different libraries in the area that I would not normally get to see. Whenever I travel, I like to be able to look at the local library, see their collections and the staff. Its interesting to see how each one is different/unique in its own way.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Karen: I have too many to count. I really like the books by Emily Griffin, she’s wonder as a chick lit author and writes about women that one can relate too. The first two are her best: Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Its a fun relaxed beach read or one I can read before I go to bed. The best kind of book is one that you can turn to any page and enjoy the store. I also like to collect books series; I have Ramona, The Little House on the Prairie, and also Twilight. :)
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Karen: I like that with web 2.0 services librarians can bounce ideas off of each other to get ideas, sort of like a brain storming session online. It reminds me of being in school and doing group projects for a class. Just as librarians are adaptable and flexible, technology is also similar in that matter. There is a lot of technology out there, I even read about authors giving a presentation over Skype to a classroom and it was really neat to hear how technology is bettering libraries for the future.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Karen: Well Dressed Librarian: http://welldressedlibrarian.blogspot.com/ Its a humorous look at being a librarian.
INAJ (of course) http://inalj.com/ I found it helpful to get a sense of where the library jobs were and what kinds of jobs were available right now.
https://twitter.com/altonbrown Twitter page of Alton Brown from the show Good Eats. His shows are a combination of humor, and science in an easy to understand manner. I think that libraries could benefit from that combination when working with the public. :)
http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/programs/moocs/mooc-registration-process San Jose online continuing education classes. It was full as of this semester but should up open more in the Spring.
http://www.mooc-list.com/node?page=1 More online courses from around the world in a variety of different topics. Both are free.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Karen: I found it really helpful to network as much as you can, whether its through LinkedIn or Facebook to connect with other librarians. Also, make sure you keep up to date by volunteering with your local library in an area you are interested. I think doing that shows initiative and also at the same time, allows for networking in person as well. Being persistent is also helpful, don’t give up. Your next job could be right around the corner! It only took me about 7 months to get my job.
Karen Hiebert is a transplant from IL and moved from California and then to Florida in 2010 after getting married. She a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in May of 2013 of their online MLIS program. Her interests are working with a public library in the Young Adult department and performing story time with younger children. She is especially interested in video gaming and information literacy and creating a scavenger hunt for kids to learn more about using the library’s materials.
When she is not working as a volunteer in the Youth Services department you can find her playing PC and console games, catching up on the newest thrillers, cooking, baking, keeping up to date with current Youth Services trends, and curled up with a cup of tea reading her newest book from the local library in town.
All Jobs for INALJ can be found here: http://inalj.com/?p=1441 Updated daily