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.