Naomi House …In Six

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

A self-directed interview ;) Reposted from 12/29/2011 and 1/27/12

A snapshot of my vision for INALJ from 2011

What is your dream job and why?
Naomi: This! I love being able to do reference by day and nights and weekends focusing on INALJ.com, FB, Twitter and LinkedIn. I would love to grow INALJ this next year and be able to employ librarians. We shall see … Oh and there would be a component of travel (both national and international) involved :)

If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job out of them or integrate it into your job what would it be? And how?
Naomi: I would take INALJ and make it a company and I may still be able to do this. Right now we have over 50+ volunteers and the day I can cut them a paycheck will be a happy day.

Favorite library you have been to?
Naomi: I really do need to start visiting international libraries when I go on vacation. But here in the US I love the Rochester, NY Central Library (the two branches across the street from one another). On one side of the street is the gorgeous, dark wood old library and on the other side is a fabulous modern library. I also miss the Ithaca College Library which has a serene view from the top floor and lots of light and open spaces.

Favorite book?
Naomi: Possession by A.S. Byatt. Many of my other favorites fall into a category I call ‘Kismet’ which means they were just the book I needed to read right when I read them. So American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, The Twilight Zone Companion, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, Zel by Donna Jo Napoli and the Herculeah Jones series by Betsy Byars all resonated with me for completely different reasons at different times in my life.

Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Naomi: Databases! I am a database troll and have multiple library cards in my wallet just so I can always access a ton of databases.

Best piece of job hunting advice?
Naomi:

  • You have to sell yourself.
  • You must give up any sense of entitlement in order to make the process less painful for yourself.
  • Sitting around mad at the world because you put out 100+ resumes and no-one got back to you isn’t helping you and this needs to be about what will help you, not what will make you feel better.
  • Ask yourself what your goal is: do you want a job or a specific type of job?
  • And learn to market yourself.
  • Ask for tons of feedback and get involved virtually with LinkedIn groups.
  • Remember this isn’t personal to anyone but you.
  • Companies/Colleges/Agencies have to look for the best candidate for them.
  • Your job is to convince them it is you.
  • Knowing this is a job, sometimes a second or third job, and having realistic expectations won’t make you happy but may take away a lot of the unnecessary and unhelpful stress within the process.

Naomi House, MLIS is a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a government contractor at a federal library. She loves traveling and cooking Pakistani food with her husband, Sana. She spent five years as a library staff member before finding her current job on the DC /SLA listserv while only half way through her Masters program at Rutgers. She founded INALJ (I Need a Library Job) with the help of Elizabeth Leonard, as a way of sharing the jobs she was still receiving -sort of a way of paying her good fortune forward.

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). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s 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.com. INALJ has had over 19.5 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk 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 a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 & 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro. She presents whenever she can, most recently thrice at the American Library Association's Annual Conference as well as breakout talk presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa and as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting, at the National Press Club, McGill University, the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has relocated to being nomadic. She runs her husband’s moving labor website, KhanMoving.com, fixes and sells old houses and assists her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food as well. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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  2 comments for “Naomi House …In Six

  1. VJ COOPER
    May 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Dear Naomi:

    Great posts!

    I’m a Veteran of the US Armed Forces, with 27 years of legal secretarial experience. However, the economic crunch has left me without employment (perm and temp) for approximately 4 1/2 years. Nonetheless, I’m planning to return to school in the Fall of 2013, to study Library Science.

    I do not have an Associate or Bachelor’s degree to get a job in a library. Is it possible to transfer my experience in law to a library job, until I obtain a Bachelor’s degree?

    Please help. I’ve run out of ideas!

    • May 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      There are jobs as library assistants that do not need the degree and are great ways to get your foot in the door. The best solution I have is to target libraries that you are most interested in working at and see if you can get simple, informational interviews with them to find out what they do and what they look for. Also join local library associations. You’ll really need to meet local people and get there help. Good luck!

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