My interview with success story, Rich
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Rich: Although I used INALJ to apply to many positions, searching simplyhired.com was how I found my current position. The job description was posted in INALJ about a day after I found it searching SimplyHired.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Rich: “The Reg”— also known as the Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. Although I was never a student there, I was lucky enough to spend many evenings working in their Mac lab while I was completing undergraduate digital art projects.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Rich: I once found an older reference book that I think was called The Encyclopedia of Hand Tools. I needed to find out what a bricklayer’s hammer looked like, why it’s designed the way it is, and how it’s used for brick laying. I ended up paging through that book for a long time looking at all the crazy tools I’ve never heard of and the many uses they have–it was surprisingly fun.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Rich: Student empowerment — I’m not sure if there’s a feeling in the world greater than knowing you empowered a student in some way. Libraries are innately able to empower students just because of concepts like equal access and privacy. These are concepts to be passionate about and be proud to call your profession. Empowering students with these concepts allows them to take advantage of the opportunities the library offers.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Rich: With the Skiing World Cup season starting up, you could compete with me on fantasyskiracer.com — let’s go team USA!
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Rich: If you can get into a practicum, internship, or a paraprofessional position before you graduate library school, do it. I had worked as a student reference assistant for two years before I had my practicum and I felt far more prepared to apply for full-time positions than I would have coming out of library school with less experience. While you’re working at these types of positions–seek out the greatest opportunities for professional growth possible. I had the opportunity to teach a couple information literacy sessions before I graduated library school. Experiences working with course management software, creating research guides, or instruction could become part of an internship and that’s a valuable skill set to have for an interview.
Rich Clegg earned his MLIS from Dominican University in River Forest, IL. He’s currently working in distance learning roles as an online reference librarian at Career Education Corporation (CEC) and as an adjunct instructor at National-Louis University (NLU). At CEC, Rich is a resource coordinator for Business and Homeland Security studies. At NLU, he teaches LIBR 200 — Digital Information Literacy, a course that explores research practices and promotes critical thinking.
As an undergraduate at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL; Rich worked at the A.C. Buehler Library under a team of librarians that inspired him to apply to library school at Dominican University. At Dominican, Rich worked as a student reference assistant at the Rebecca Crown Library and also had the opportunity to complete a practicum at Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL. His graduate education and the diverse student populations he serves have instilled Rich with a teaching philosophy dedicated to truth and compassionate service.