Joanna DiPasquale …In Six

Naomi: What is your dream job and why?
Joanna: I’m so happy to say that I think I am pretty close to my dream job at Vassar! My dream job is to manage a team (as well as do some of the hands-on coding) that digitizes and provides access to information through innovative approaches, allowing users to find new connections, new ideas, and new relationships from the data sets. Libraries and archives have incredibly varied items and rich descriptions of those items, and I’m proud to be able to contribute to providing access and digitally preservation of those items in some small way.

Naomi: If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job out of them or integrate into your job what would it be? And how?
Joanna: My favorite hobby is gardening, both flower and vegetable gardening. I love being able to see a patch of dirt, plan out something to do with it, and then dig in — literally. I think about gardening in my work when I create something new and then provide access to it. I love information visualization, and I think that’s where I seek to integrate my love of gardening into my work: I like to see different ways of visualizing data and sustaining it over time, in the same way that I like to see new uses for the land that I have.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Joanna: I absolutely love the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. It is a beautiful building, and every time I visit I find something new in the architecture, the setup, and of course, the books! It’s everything I could want in a library.

Naomi: Favorite book
Joanna: I honestly don’t have a favorite book, though I have a favorite *style* of book, generally non-fiction, historical works. I’m currently reading about food, gardening, farming, and history through two books: Wendell Berry’s “Bringing It to the Table” (a collection of essays about farming and agriculture) and Andrew Beahrs’ “Twain’s Feast: Searching for America’s Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens.” Both are great so far!

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/technology
Joanna: I am so privileged to be able to work with library data and objects every day, and I am still amazed by the depth and breadth of the knowledge that libraries have produced. From the digital perspective, the years that librarians and archivists have spent generating MARC cataloging records, encoded archival description finding aids, and other resources have provided pathways to new digital projects every day for me. It’s an honor to be able to work with those information sets and help provide new digital connections to them.

Naomi: Best piece of job-hunting advice
Joanna: Many candidates take great care in writing their resume / C.V., but often their cover letters are neglected. Make sure you don’t do that! A good cover letter addresses the details of the job to which you’re applying. Search committees read these letters quite frequently and candidates with good cover letters really stand out as a result. Your cover letter is also a wonderful opportunity to explain your role in a digital project, for example, so that a reader can learn more about certain skills through your descriptions.

Joanna DiPasquale is the Digital Projects Librarian for Vassar College Libraries, where she implements a broad range of digital initiatives around the College, from library-generated content to faculty-generated research and teaching projects. She is passionate about physical and digital libraries and how information technology can be used to build digital collections in new and interesting ways. Joanna has over ten years experience in academic libraries and information technology, which nicely combine her backgrounds in math, computer science, and history. She holds B.A.s in mathematics and history from SUNY Geneseo and CUNY Queens College, as well as an M.A. from NYU and an M.L.I.S. from Rutgers University.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (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 has had over 19.5 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 has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. 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 has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website,, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.