Michelle Bourgeois …In Six

My interview with success story, Michelle

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Michelle: I found my current job on the library system’s jobs board webpage. I was looking in a particular geographical area, so in addition to looking at INALJ, I frequently checked the websites of the library systems in that area.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Michelle: I love the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Their YouMedia Center for teens is fantastic, and they have a beautiful garden area and museum on the top floor.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Michelle: There are so many! One of my most recent favorites is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The main character and awesomely clever narrator, Hazel, is 16 and has a form of terminal cancer. Though illness plays a major role in the book, the story is more about the relationship between Hazel and Augustus Waters, the boy she meets (and falls for) at her support group. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. It was beautiful, poignant, and clever. I would recommend it to both teens and adults.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Michelle: I love that public libraries are community spaces where all are welcome to read, explore, learn, and have fun. One of my favorite things about technology in libraries is that I have the opportunity to constantly learn about new technology to help serve patrons better. In the library where I’ll be working, I am excited to teach patrons how to use the library’s digital media lab to edit music, video, and other media. My last job focused on information/instructional technology, so I’m really excited to continue working with technology!

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Michelle: For people who are looking in one geographical area, it’s helpful to look at the websites and jobs boards of libraries and library systems in that area. I also followed ALA Joblist, LibGig, Get Library Jobs, and INALJ on Twitter. As for websites, I really liked hiringlibrarians.com and opencoverletters.com. Finally, going to my school’s career center and doing a mock interview helped a lot! They gave great input on applications and helped me to practice my interview skills.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Michelle: Be persistent and stay optimistic! Use all the great resources librarians have put together to help each other (like INALJ and Open Cover Letters). Treat the job search like it’s a job, and practice interview questions so you’re prepared in each step of the process.

My name is Michelle and I am a recent MLIS grad. I love reading, technology, traveling, coffee, and crafts. I just got a new camera and am excited to learn more about photography/photo editing. I also really want to learn how to make gifs. My current TV obsessions are Friday Night Lights (I don’t even like football, but I love this show), Downton Abbey, and Community. I’ve worked at a rock climbing wall, a coffee shop, a book store, a library, another book store… Most recently, I was a graduate and teaching assistant at my graduate school’s instructional technology and design office and help desk. I’m very excited to start my new position as a teen librarian!

Oh! I have a book/library themed tumblr too (follow me! 🙂 ): http://bookconfessions.tumblr.com/

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource 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 20 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 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 now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.