Alexis Stapp …Success Story

My interview with success story, Alexis, success story and Head Editor, INALJ Minnesota

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Alexis: I found my current job through LISjobs.com. I read about 40+ assorted RSS feeds, e-mail listservs, and INALJ (of course!) every day while I was searching.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Alexis: To me, the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh epitomizes what a library should look like, on top of offering some amazing services. I’m also awfully fond of my hometown library, the Ridgedale branch of the Hennepin County Library System in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It’s the library I grew up going to and even though it’s gone through some major remodeling, it remains a very familiar, very comfortable place.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Alexis: Put to the test, I’d say my favorite is Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. It has pretty much everything I love in a novel – buddies, journeys, silliness, and more – and while it’s completely, ridiculously irreverent, it somehow manages to be one of the most reverent books I’ve read. Other favorites include Moby-Dick, Winter’s Tale, and pretty much anything by Bill Bryson, Isabel Allende, and M.T. Anderson. This is a cruel question to put to librarians.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Alexis: The best thing about libraries and technology is connecting people, both to information they’re seeking but also to other people. Almost every day I’m working or any time I’m in a library, I see some sort of interaction, very frequently between total strangers, that reaffirms what I believe about people – they are essentially good and just want to help.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Alexis: If you’re a library job hunter and you’re not reading Hiring Librarians, get on the bandwagon! It provides so much insight into that persnickety world. Other librarian blogs I like are PC Sweeney’s Blog, 8bitlibrary.com, and Stephen’s Lighthouse. The OxfordWords blog is awesome for logophiles

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Alexis: Be yourself! My boyfriend (also an MLIS) reminded me of this all the time – if you feel like you have to dress up/act a certain way in an interview, or you are considering fudging the truth even slightly on your resume/cover letter/at any point in the hiring process, don’t. If you get hired on the pretense of being someone other than you or having skills you don’t, it won’t be a good fit and you’ll probably wind up miserable. Yes, miserable. Some other great advice I received came from Mr. Ryan Jones, who was interviewed by INALJ back in April: annotate your references!

I’m the new Interlibrary Loan Librarian/Night and Weekend Supervisor at the Barbour Library of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I’m from Wayzata, Minnesota originally, have a BA in communication and Spanish, and worked at a bookstore for 5+ years. I moved to Pittsburgh to attend the University of Pittsburgh’s MLIS program and graduated in August. While in school, I interned at Pitt’s Engineering Library, which I liked, even though I was helping students find resources on topics completely beyond my understanding – stochastic modeling, anyone? I also volunteered at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which I hope to continue. In my free time I like to cook, eat (especially in group settings at potlucks), read, be outside, and make stuff.
reposted from 9/14/12 and 3/28/13

Formerly titled Alexis Stapp …In Six