5 Things I’ve Learned as a INALJ Head Editor

by Courtney Baron, Head Editor, INALJ Georgia

5 Things I’ve Learned as a INALJ Head Editor

courtney1I’ve served as the Head Editor of Georgia since the state pages went live early last year, so I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned.

1) It’s hard to get a library job.

You probably know this already, but it’s especially obvious when you search for jobs in your state five days a week! It’s not so much that jobs aren’t out there (see #5), but finding the right job can be difficult.

2)  You really do need the degree.

Of course, there is always an exception, but I’ve found more professional jobs than paraprofessional jobs and they all list the MLIS degree as a minimum requirement. So, those of who you have the degree, keep your head up. Opportunities are out there. If you are on the fence about going to library school, just know that, regardless of the pros and cons, it really will limit your chances of getting a library job if you decide not to go.

3)  You must be willing to either:

–       work part-time

–       work non-traditional hours

–       work or relocate to a less desirable location

Often, when professional librarian jobs pop up, they are part-time, require evenings and weekends, and/or are located in a less than desirable area (which I define as an area in which I personally would not want to live). You will likely have to put up with undesirable hours or work part-time in order to get your foot in the door.

4)  You must look outside the box.

INALJ strives to include non-traditional library jobs and I’ve found so many from places I would never have thought to look if I wasn’t posting jobs on a regular basis. For example, Turner Broadcasting is based in Atlanta and I’ve posted numerous job openings applicable to LIS professionals.

5)  Don’t give up.

If you don’t see the right job today or end up the unlucky finalist at what felt like the perfect job, don’t fret! If there is anything I’ve learned during the past year of posting jobs, it’s that there are more out there than I originally thought. I post roughly 20-40 unique jobs a week for the Georgia page but larger states can have a couple hundred! Sure, it’s a tough market, but odds are the right job will pop up before you know it.

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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