Giving Thanks and Re-networking

One thing I have tried to do in the past year is re-connect with librarians that I have grown to know as a patron.

I like to think of this as a way to not only network (or re-network) but also a way to quietly say thanks to those who helped shape what I know and how I think about accessing information.  Too often as young adults and children we see the teachers and librarians we encounter and assume or expect that they are here for us.  We do not realize just how much our success as information professionals hinges on how we were trained from the start.  We simply didn’t know how much we had to thank them for until we were much older.

This past year I was able to visit the Cierpke Memorial Library at Tennessee Temple University that my Mom worked at while my Dad was in college.  The current librarian had been a student when my Dad attended and much of the physical space looked the same.  I was home schooled for several years in early elementary grades and my Mom would bring us to work with her.  We would go upstairs and do our school work and read the fabulous kids books.   I am most grateful to Mr. Kevin Woodruff for giving us such a thorough tour.

I also recently heard from my high school librarian, Kim Donius, and I was delighted to reconnect.  It was this encounter that made me realize that I needed to go back and examine just who helped shape my library career be it school librarians, public librarians or my professors and thank them.  This belated thanks would also help me network with professionals I had lost touch with.  By reconnecting I now better understand just how I came to be who I am within the field.

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.