by Aimee Graham, former Head Editor, INALJ Georgia
Parting Words from a Parting Editor
My journey began with INALJ in the summer of 2012. I was in a whirlwind, trying to complete my Masters of Science in Information Science from the University at Albany, SUNY within one year, and juggling work, family, four summer classes and a 1 1/2 hour commute for times a week in the process. With the pressure of graduation, the “real-world” and the overly long process of securing a library position already weighing me down, I began stressing over the job search five months before graduation and one month before beginning an internship. The hunt for employment was overwhelming, to say the least; so many various sites to check, so many different keywords, I felt like I was drowning in the search before I could technically begin to apply (as most positions wanted a completed degree). One day, sitting in a classroom with my head in my hands and confiding in a friend, she said “Have you ever heard of I Need A Library Job?
And so our relationship began.
Back at this time, INALJ was a behemoth of a site; all jobs (and I mean ALL) were listed on one massively long 220 page PDF; the best thing about it was that I could search through the PDF by keywords, such as “reference” or “New York” but it was hard to open and too big. Throughout the remainder of that summer and the following semester, I scowered INALJ, applying to ever position I felt qualified for around the country and admittedly feeling a bit of the weight relieved as I didn’t have to go to multiple sites to search.
Flash forward to January 2013.
I had recently completed my Masters and had relocated to Florida in hopes of starting a new life, including finding employment. I am was searching through INALJ on a daily basis, applying feverishly from full-time academic positions to volunteer opportunities and internships. It was during this time Naomi at INALJ, who was doing this with just a few assistants, was about to make some serious changes and was taking on a lot of help – I figured I was on the site enough anyway and emailed Naomi House, INALJ founder, to find out more. Shortly thereafter I was an assistant on the Florida page. Two months later, I secured my first professional position.
In two years I went from job-seeker to assistant to eventually the Head Editor of the Florida, New York, and Georgia pages, separately. One of my blogs, Debunking 10 Librarian Misconceptions, has become one of the most viewed blogs on the INALJ page. I have found 2 jobs through my work with INALJ. And I don’t tell you this in a manner to boast on my achievements, I tell you this in a way that it will help you. By volunteering I viewed many openings before they were in ‘circulation’ (forgive the pun). I networked with other volunteers and users of the site, opening up opportunities for me. Contributing filled a void on my resume AND helped me heighten existing skills while simultaneously added new ones. And the blogging has captured attention of other sources, leading me to a new venture and helping strengthen my confidence in writing my first published work.
Point in turn, INALJ will work for you as much as you will work for it, in more ways than you realize when you sign on. And, from a parting editor, I recommend you network with your fellow contributors, put effort into your blog submissions, and make this an amazing experience for yourself. To those who are new and those staying on, I wish you the best. And to Naomi, thank you for creating such an amazing page.