Non-Library Jobs & Advice on How to Get One : an introduction to INALJ’s series of interviews

by Naomi House, MLIS

Non-Library Jobs & Advice on How to Get One :
an introduction to INALJ’s series of interviews

Naomi House, MLIS (photo by Kyle Cassidy)

Naomi House, MLIS
(photo by Kyle Cassidy)

Welcome to INALJ’s 2020 series on non-library jobs for library workers and those with their MLIS.

The purpose of this series is

1) to introduce LIS workers to job fields they might be qualified for and unaware of
2) give them advice on breaking into those fields

I was inspired to do the series because of the drastic changes to the availability of traditional library jobs during this pandemic. I know many LIS folk who work outside libraries but use their skills as well as many who have lost their jobs or been furloughed. These interviews aim to be an introduction to transferable skillsets as well as resources for those looking for work in those fields. In these ways these interviews may also hold value for HR managers in these non-traditional fields as well.

Since founding INALJ (formerly called I need a Library job) in 2010 I have maintained a list of Keywords for Job Searching on the left sidebar of this site, many of which are job titles. I have always added non-traditional jobs to the daily INALJ jobs lists. It was this list of Keywords that I worked off of when I reached out to potential interviewees. The response was overwhelming and I already have several weeks of interviews lined up to share, and I anticipate even more.

Regarding the jobs covered by these interviews, I am not limiting the scope to one POV per job title, rather in some cases I have multiple interviews with different people who have similar titles but who offer different advice.

Each weekday at 9 AM ET I will share a new LIS interview with someone who has either worked previously in libraries and/or has a degree in library and information science and now works outside libraries. On Fridays I will run a summary article for the week and link to previous weekly summaries. In addition to summarizing the week’s interviews and job titles I will add my own tips and job searching resources specific to those fields to the Friday summaries. This will also be where I give a sneak peek at the job fields we will be covering for the next week. I will continue to run interviews as long as I have them throughout the summer along with other series as yet to be determined.

This week, due to the federal holiday, the series will begin on Tuesday. It starts with 3 separate interviews from one interviewee who has held a series of non-library jobs that built off of one another. My sincere thanks to that interviewee for the above and beyond amount of labor and advice!

This week I will share interviews from those working in the following fields:

  • Electronic Files Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Product/ Data Owner
  • Prospect Development Director and Prospect Researcher
  • Senior Insights Design Coordinator
  • Information Services

I want to sincerely thank every single interviewee, all of whom did this labor uncompensated, for their time and expertise. Like many LIS workers running their own businesses the pandemic has significantly changed my income and for the worse. It is my hope that this series will benefit not only those who are curious about LIS skillsets and non-library jobs, but the many who have been laid off, furloughed or who are graduating into a very changed job market.

If you are interested in being interviewed for this series, and you are working in a non-library position please email me at naomi dot house at inalj dot com. I am open to those with education in the GLAM fields as well.

All INALJ Library and LIS jobs may be found here. How to Sponsor or Post a Job information here.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, 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 21 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.