This is an interview with Ta-Shirè Tribbett, Senior Insights Design Coordinator, done by Naomi House of INALJ. This is part of INALJ’s 2020 series on non-library jobs for library workers.
On Insights Design Coordinator Work :
an Interview with Ta-Shirè Tribbett
Q1: Thanks so much for taking the time to help us better understand what Senior Insights Design Coordinator work is and how LIS folk can get into this field. First could you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you got your MLIS and what you do?
After bouncing around the East Coast, I currently live in Northern Virginia. I got my MLS from North Carolina Central University in 2012, but I had been working in the field since 1996. I completed my Masters in Information Architecture and Interaction Design from the University of Baltimore in 2019. I work for an international law firm in the role of Senior Insights Design Coordinator, where I center on system redesign and analysis, information architecture and project management of legal automation tools, with a focus on artificial intelligence.
Q2: Now can you tell us how You personally got into doing this type of work?
After I arrived at my place of employment, I noticed that most of my colleagues had their JD. I wanted to solidify my contributions to the department and knew that law wasn’t my wheelhouse, so I looked into other advanced degree options that would compliment my MLS and be beneficial to the firm. While deploying our new library catalog I became very interested in taxonomy and information architecture and I found a graduate degree program that combined my newfound interests with my skillset. Four years later I was able to take that experience and education and leverage it into a newly created position within the firm.
Q3: What makes this a great field for LIS workers and likewise, what do you think makes LIS workers strong candidates for hiring managers in this field?
UX and librarianship go hand-in-hand. The reference interview easily lends itself to the user interview. Structural design of online environments lends itself to the concept of cataloging, and so on. If you have your MLS you have these basic tools that can take you anywhere if you market yourself hard enough.
Q4: What is the best way to get your foot in the door or your first insights design coordinator job?
You can take a UX role anywhere, so I’d look around at online classes and such to get a feel for the field and see where your skillset lies. You can shore up with additional training, classes or pursue a certification if necessary. Then, I’d try to leverage that into your current position, or look for jobs that contain keywords that align with what you want to do.
Q5: Finally what are some of the most important skills / certifications / etc that LIS folk can do to prepare them? Any last tips?
As the Membership chair of the Taxonomy division of the SLA, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that taxonomy is a fantastic skill for librarians to engage with. There are some great UX bootcamps and certifications out there if you’re interested, as well. If you can get funding for another degree, I’d recommend going that route. As far as tips go, I always say that you are your best asset in any job-seeking situation. Be prepared to tell that company why they need *you* and what you bring to the table that other people may not.
Ta-Shirè Tribbett resides in Northern Virginia and is always on the lookout for new opportunities. An avid reader, she enjoys cooking, baking and watching movies.
Views expressed are those of the interviewee and not INALJ or their employer. Photo provided by the interviewee and permission granted to use it for this interview.