Molly Riley …In Six

My interview with success story, Molly!

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Molly: I learned about my current job from my personal and professional community here in Santa Barbara. For that matter, I learned about the residency position I held last year from my professional community in Seattle. I always tire of talking and worrying about networking, but the networks that helped me find these jobs were the natural ones, borne out of good working relationships in libraries and honest friendships with people outside the library.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Molly: In graduate school I studied abroad for a month in the Netherlands. The DOK Library Concept Center in Delft is the loveliest library I’ve been to. This library takes risks, uses technology creatively and meaningfully, has an innovation department, lends artwork, welcomes children with imaginative spaces, knows its community and engages with it well, and so is, of course, filled with energy and life.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Molly: The book that speaks to me most forcefully is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. She writes, “It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.” And also, “People are always up in the night, with their colicky babies and their sick children, or fighting or worrying or full of guilt… And I’d pray for them. And I’d imagine peace they didn’t expect and couldn’t account for descending on their illness or their quarreling or their dreams. Then I’d go into the church and pray some more and wait for daylight. I’ve often been sorry to see a night end, even while I have loved seeing the dawn come. Trees sound different at night, and they smell different, too.”

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?
Molly: I love that libraries are home to ideas, printed and electronic, and that libraries are places where ideas are shared. I love library technology that puts no barriers between a person and the piece of knowledge or information he needs to help bolster his argument, enhance his research claims, find reliable consumer health information, learn how to knit, or get wrapped in a story.

Naomi:Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Molly: I find anything Aaron Schmidt writes worthwhile:
Jaap van de Geer and Erik Boekesteijn, of the DOK, are always inspiring:

Naomi:Best piece of job hunting advice?
Molly: If you’re able and willing to take a residency or something like it (read more here: I highly recommend it. My experience as a “library resident” was a natural extension of what I learned in graduate school. I was lucky enough to work with librarians at SBCC who love their jobs and were keen that I should learn and love the profession, too. In so far as you’re able, take a risk on something short term or in a new city or with a different community of users. Broadly speaking, just take a risk.

I was born in the sweet land of Minnesota, and eventually I became a librarian. 

I went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, another sweet land, and studied Elementary Education. After graduating, I explored work in social service organizations and eventually served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member at the Saint Paul Public Library coordinating early-literacy programs. That put me on the path to librarianship. I earned my MLIS from the iSchool at the University of Washington in June 2011.

For the 2011-2012 academic year I worked as the Library Resident at Santa Barbara City College. I can’t recommend pursuing a residency like this one enough. It was an excellent initial position out of graduate school. I’m now the Web Services/Research & Instruction Librarian at Westmont College, a small Christian liberal arts college also here in Santa Barbara.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its 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. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians 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 one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.