This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions
Naomi House’s interview with success story Casey.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Casey: I found my current job by religiously checking INALJ, LibGig, various library websites, etc. I was always told it’s who you know when it comes to getting a library job, and I’m certainly not here to dispel that, but truth be told I found my current job through a listserv and didn’t know anyone on staff at MCC when I interviewed for the position. The application process was pretty stringent since it was conducted by a committee, but I kept telling myself that even if I didn’t get the job, the interview practice was invaluable.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Casey: My favorite library is a toss up between the downtown Chicago Library and the downtown Seattle Public Library. I love them both for different reasons but there is something about a major metropolitan library that I am in absolute love with. However, to be quite honest, as someone who desperately wants to travel the world to seek out international libraries, I have a feeling I haven’t even been to my favorite library yet.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Casey: One of the toughest questions you could ever ask a librarian: what is your favorite book? I’ll say anything by Jeffrey Eugenides. Virgin Suicides and Middlesex are books that I come back to almost every year. His way of creating a story is unlike any other author I have experienced and his characters are ones I think about long after I’ve finished the book.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Casey: My favorite thing about libraries is diversity, i.e. diversity of patrons, diversity of information needs, diversity of staff, etc. I really love that libraries have moved toward a place of community, rather than just an old building where every one is shushed and where all you see is stacks and stacks of books. I love that at any given moment there can be a book club meeting at the library, while someone is setting up an email account for the first time, and also a children’s story time – all in the same place. I’m also a huge advocate of intellectual freedom and I truly believe every person/every where should have equal access to information. In that regard, I cherish libraries as one of the last great democratic institutions.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Casey: My absolute favorite library website is Library as Incubator Project (libraryasincubatorproject.org). This website was started by several Wisconsin library students and has really taken off. They highlight libraries that use art (in every sense of the word) to advocate for both libraries and art within the community. They especially emphasize unique and special partnerships between libraries and artists – again, coming back to this idea of what it means to create a creative community space within a library.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Casey: My best piece of job hunting advice is terribly cliche: don’t give up and never take a job rejection personally. I heard so many times how well I interview, but that I was still not the right fit for the job. Then – one day – out of nowhere, I interviewed well AND was the right person for the job. I do recommend networking at any chance you can get; I’ve yet to meet a librarian that not only loves his/her job, but is also more than willing to help out budding librarians. You will get a job, trust me. It might not be the “dream job” right off the bat, it might be a part time job….but it’ll be something and that something will lead to something better and that something better will lead to something better and….you get the idea.
Casey Lansinger grew up in Colorado where she studied journalism as an undergraduate and eventually worked for four years as an Editorial Assistant at The Denver Post. She then decided to venture out west to study her real passion – Library Science – at University of Washington in Seattle. While at UW, Casey worked at Suzzallo Library in the Office of the Dean, as well as did volunteer work through Seattle Public Library and the Talking Book and Braille Library. Her library interests include digital literacy instruction and outreach to underserved populations. Upon graduation, she returned back to sunny Colorado and is currently working at Morgan Community College as a Learning Resources Specialist. When she’s not working at the library, she loves to write personal essays, hike the Colorado mountains, hang out with friends and enjoy Colorado-brewed beer.
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