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Naomi House’s interview with success story Rebecca.
Naomi: How did you find your job as a Media and Digital Services Librarian?
Rebecca: I first heard about the job from my predecessor, who was serving on a committee with me and announced that she was leaving. I took a look at the job posting, and I didn’t meet the qualifications, so I didn’t apply. The job was reposted a few months later, and this time I thought I was more qualified, so I applied. By the time I heard back, 3 months later, I’d already given up on the job, so I was pleasantly surprised! I put up a post about interviewing and negotiating for my current position at http://derangementanddescription.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/an-edgy-easter-bunny-crossed-with-a-great-white-that-does-standup.
Naomi: Tell us a little bit more about what a media and digital services librarian does.
Rebecca: A little bit of everything! I do collection development for library videos. I manage our digitization projects and digital collections. I supervise the University Archivist and the library’s audiovisual department. I do copyright advisory for faculty and staff. I run La Salle’s institutional repository. I do library outreach. Sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions at once, but as a new professional it’s been wonderful to get such varied experience.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Rebecca: When I was stranded in Chicago after SAA (thanks Hurricane Irene!) an archivist who works at the Newberry Library offered me a behind-the-scenes tour. I thought my years working in an archives had desensitized me to the “OMG I get to touch old stuff!” excitement…I was wrong. :)
As a kid, I went to my local library in Homer, NY (pop. 7,000) pretty regularly, but I always got really excited about going downtown to the Cortland Free Library, which had a playhouse where I could read the books I picked out.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Rebecca: Like libraries, it’s hard to pick one favorite, but I’ve had favorites at different times in my life. In elementary school I adored The Phantom Tollbooth and The Westing Game, and reading The Music of Dolphins in middle school changed the way I thought about writing and language.
In high school I read everything then-published by Christopher Moore, who blew my mind by actually responding to my fan emails (sent from my AOL account, complete with signature in rainbow colors). As an adult, I’ve loved Possession and To Say Nothing of the Dog. I just finished The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and it’s my newest favorite!
Naomi: Any websites, blogs or feeds we should be following?
Rebecca: Ask a Manager if you have a manager, are a manager, or would like to have/be a manager someday. The Library Loon if you care about the future of academic libraries. ArchivesNext if you like archives and technology. The SNAP Roundtable blog if you’re a student or new archivist (and really, even if you’re not).
Naomi: Any job hunting advice?
Rebecca: Be cautious of how you represent yourself online, especially in professional settings like listservs. If you’re currently looking for a job, you have lots to complain about: a tough economy, terrible entry-level salary, rude employers who don’t follow up on applications, insensitive colleagues who don’t understand how hard it is to find a job right now. But when you make your complaints public, you can come across as a whiner, or as someone who feels entitled to a job- -not qualities that make you attractive to prospective employers. Venting is normal and healthy, but I’d recommend doing it privately or off-line.
Rebecca Goldman has been the Media and Digital Services Librarian at La Salle University’s Connelly Library since October 2011. She previously held positions at the Drexel University Archives, the Drexel University Libraries, and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. Rebecca has a BA in linguistics from Swarthmore College and an MS in library and information science from Drexel University. She is the author of the archives webcomic Derangement and Description and the founder and chair of SAA’s Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable. You can find her on Twitter as @DerangeDescribe.