Sarah Lucchesi …In Six

My interview with INALJ success story, Sarah

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Sarah:  I found it on the INALJ daily e-mail. As soon as I read the job description I knew it would be a perfect fit. I feel so lucky to have found a job that combines everything I wanted to do – I had a pretty specific wish list!

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Sarah:  I’m going to be a complete homer and say the Boston Public Library. A few years ago I took a guided tour of the library and learned that the BPL was the first large free library in the US and the first library in the world to allow its patrons to borrow books and take them out of the library. The phrase “Free To All” is inscribed above the main entrance, and I was drawn to librarianship as a career by a similar sentiment. I believe very strongly that information should be available to everyone, and I believe in the positive power of information in peoples’ lives and in maintaining a strong democracy through well-informed citizens, so I find the BPL’s history really inspiring.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Sarah:  My all-time fave is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I try to re-read it once a year if I can. I grew up on a small farm and Steinbeck hit all the right notes when describing the relationship farmers have with their land. Reading that book feels like being wrapped up in a warm blanket.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Sarah:  I love that being a librarian forces you to keep current and learn new things all the time. As a librarian, if you’re afraid to learn new techniques or technologies, you’ll get left behind very quickly. If you’re doing the job right, it’s almost impossible to get into a rut because there’s always something new to learn. I anticipate never being bored in this career!

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Sarah:  I love Confessions of a Science Librarian (http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/) and Letters to a Young Librarian (http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/)

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sarah:  Be yourself in interviews! Don’t be afraid to show your personality and have a sense of humor. Ask questions that demonstrate that you’ve done your research about the library. Trust your gut! If a job “feels” wrong after a round or two of interviewing, even if you can’t put your finger on why, walk away. Your gut is wise. The right job for you is out there.

I am a newly hired Instruction Librarian at Michigan Technological University, where I get to combine my loves of teaching, science, and librarianship. I am originally from central Massachusetts and have a BA in Biology from Wellesley College, an MA in Science Education from Boston University, and an MSLIS from Simmons College. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, reading, and hiking. Since I’ve moved to a place that gets 200+ inches of snow each winter, I’m thinking I may have to take up cross-country skiing.

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. 

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