On Being Versatile

by Emily Guier, Head Editor, INALJ Wyoming

On Being Versatile

As information professionals, we often engage in conversations justifying our existence or questioning if we have a future in a world with Google. On both sides of the argument, we discuss our versatility. After all, information is everywhere.

Being versatile professionals, there are exciting new tools at our disposal. Freelancing is easier than ever with various websites like elance.com or guru.com. At INALJ, we use a variety of different keywords to find leads–why not extend our skills as information professionals to freelancing? For newly minted librarians fresh out of library school, this may be a valuable way to gain experience and beef up a résumé. For more seasoned professionals, freelance work allows flexibility and a means to earn some extra money. Granted, this avenue requires a broader perspective of what we’re trained for; not many people are looking for someone to catalog their personal libraries.

I was reading an article (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/01/14/130114fa_fact_marx) recently about Task Rabbit (www.taskrabbit.com), a site that connects people who need a service with those who can provide it. I am continually amazed at how technology connects people in the pursuit of making life easier. Perhaps this, and other similar sites, is an opportunity for job seekers in a tough economy.

INALJ readers, have any of you freelanced as an information professional? Are there any resources you would suggest?  Join the discussion on LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=4112382&type=member&item=215946148




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.