Ashley Stevens …In Six

My interview with success story,  Ashley

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Ashley:  I found my position through Archives Gig which then redirected me to USAjobs.gov.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Ashley:  The Seattle Public Library.  I love the architectural design of the building, their use of library-related objects as art, and the red floor.  They have an entire floor painted the color red which incidentally is my favorite color.  I loved it.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Ashley:  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  A couple of years ago, I went on this classics kick.  I wanted to read all the classics that I never got a chance to read in school.  I came across this book and fell in love.  It has murder, intrigue, love, revenge and so much more.  Dumas keeps you entertained and makes you think.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ashley:  I like the openness and inviting nature of libraries and librarians. It’s my hope to bring that to the archives profession.  I think as a profession we tend to hold people at a distance but I don’t think that should be the case.  I love what I do and I love history.  I want to help others understand that and should they become a fan of archives that’s great too.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Ashley:  For job-related sites, check out Archives Gig, Hiring Librarians, and OpenCoverLetters.

For fun, I love following anything on The Nerdist.  It’s tailored to all the nerds out there, like me.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ashley:  My best friend gave me advice that’s always stuck with me in my job search.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Change things up.  For example, during my college years, I was a journalist on the college paper.  In journalism, you’re taught never to bury the lead in the story.  You’ve got to grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence.  I took those skill sets and applied them to my cover letters.  And, I started getting interviews.  Even though I didn’t get those jobs, I was getting a call back.  I realized that I was doing something that got me noticed out of the hundreds of applications.

Try something different with your cover letter and resume.  You never know, it could be the very thing that gets you noticed….and the job.

I’m a southerner without a southern accent.

I was born and raised in Brunswick, Georgia.  I got my B.A. in History at Georgia Southern University in 2007.  After taking a year off, I went on to graduate from the University of South Carolina with my M.A. in Public History and an M.L.I.S. with an archives concentration.  At USC, I got a chance to work with Teaching American History in South Carolina, which inspired me to become a people’s archivist.  Also, I interned for a summer at the National Archives in Seattle.  After graduating in 2011, I worked for a year as a contract archives technician in Death Valley National Park.  Starting in late October, I will be joining the National Archives in Philadelphia as an archives technician. When I’m not busy working on my career, I like to read, write short stories, and enjoy all things scifi.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, 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 20.5 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. 

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