Confessions of a well-educated stay-at-home mom

by Emily Guier, Head Editor, INALJ Wyoming

Confessions of a well-educated stay-at-home mom

Confession: I’m a library and information professional who has never actually been a library and information professional. Coming out of undergrad, I knew I wanted to get my MLIS, but since I was geographically limited—my husband was getting his JD at the University of Wyoming—I took a few extra steps. I had decided that my future career path would be in academic libraries, and so I worked on getting a subject Master’s degree before I started library school. Fast forward six years later, and I am a well-educated stay-at-home mom, a career that I love.

It turns out that I have become I much more active and engaged library user since my son was born last summer. We regularly attend storytime and check out new books. As I have grown into a different kind of library patron, I’m finding myself wondering if I should be a different kind of librarian from what I had originally planned. While I think academic libraries would provide a challenging and rewarding career, I’m not keen on publishing or working towards tenure. I wouldn’t have believed you a few years ago if you would have told me that I would enjoy children’s programming, but it turns out that I really do. My new long-term career plan involves a school library or a children’s librarian job. What I can’t be certain of, however, is if this new plan will still fit in a few years.

How common is this about-face mentality in librarianship? Have any of you started on one track only to find yourself interested in another?  Join the extended discussion on LinkedIn.

 

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. 

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