Naomi House’s interview with success story Dina.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Dina: I worked at the Mineola Memorial Library as an Adult Page for two years until I received my degree, my NYS Public Library Certification, and received a position on the Nassau County Civil Service Librarian I list by taking the examination. A part time Librarian I position opened up in Reference at Mineola, and I was chosen for the job. When I was notified through Civil Service that an open competitive part time Librarian I position was available at North Merrick Public Library, I introduced myself to the director, was later invited to an interview, and then was chosen for the position.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Dina: I have too many to pick one! When I was going to undergraduate school, I used the Brentwood Public Library (NY), which had quite a few academic materials at that time. The University of Chicago’s Regenstein’s Library (IL) had a huge print collection when I was there, which included an 1800’s archaeological travelogue, and a history of the Crusades written in the 1100’s. Queens College’s Rosenthal Library (NY) has a tremendous array of online databases, and a substantial print Library Science collection. But, my favorite libraries today are the two I work in, because I can be a part of managing the collection and services that our patrons request.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Dina: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Fannie Flagg
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Dina: During the aftermath of the superstorm Sandy, Mineola Memorial Library was open to any patron who needed someplace warm, a charging station for their devices, a free warm cup of coffee or tea, access to the print newspapers, print fiction and non-fiction; and for those who had power but no cable, we had a wide selection of DVDs. People came to us for all these things, and to talk to each other and share information and stories. Once our internet was restored, people came to us to access our wireless services and computers as well. We proved to the community that the public library is a vital source for help, comfort, entertainment, information, education, and technology.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Dina: A great source for a lot of the information I get is through community listserves. I’m an active member of ALA, PLA, ALSC, YALSA, RUSA, and my local library association, NYLA. I’m still connected to my alma mater’s listserve. I get emails from all of them every day. I also use ALA Connect as a means of sharing in communities I’m interested in.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Dina: Figure out what your favorite kind of library is, then join all the national and local associations that support that kind of library. Go to programs, conferences, meetings, and network with the people who are doing the job you want to do. Get on the listserves, join Linked In, and network with people virtually. Let people discover who you are, what you’re passionate about professionally, and be open to listening to their ideas, too. Become familiar with the requirements needed to get the position you desire. Be willing to take a non-professional position in order to expose yourself to the field and network with professionals. In my case, I knew I wanted to be a public librarian and made it known throughout my local area, but I also educated myself about other types of libraries in case I couldn’t find my preferred job. Connect with me on Linked In if you have any questions you think I could answer for you.
Dina Schuldner is a May 2012 graduate of CUNY at Queens College, where she received a general MLS and a specialized certificate in Children’s and Young Adult Services in the Public Library. While in school, her article, “Afraid of Being Fat: Eating Disorders and Young Adults,” was published in the August 2011 edition of VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). She received her New York State Public Library Certification in June of 2012. In September of 2012, she was placed on the Nassau County Civil Service Librarian I list. She is currently working part time in two Nassau County (NY) Public Libraries, the Mineola Memorial Library, and the North Merrick Public Library. Prior to working as a public librarian, Dina worked at the Mineola Memorial Library as an Adult Page in the Children’s and Young Adult Department, for two years. She is a former 7th grade English teacher.