Meet Rachel Chenault: INALJ Alabama Assistant Editor

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

by Rachael Altman, Head Editor, INALJ Alabama

Meet Rachel Chenault: INALJ Alabama Assistant Editor and Reference & Instruction Librarian at South University

Rachael A: Favorite Library you have been to?
Rachel C: The Erie County Public Library in Erie, PA is my favorite because it’s the library I grew up in. The children’s section was downstairs.  It felt like being let in on a secret to be able to go down there.  I also got to play with American Girls dolls there, which was super neat!  They of course had all the American Girl books, too.

Rachael A: Favorite book?
Rachel C: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Rachael A: Favorite website/blog?
Rachel C:

Rachael A: Favorite thing about libraries/library technologies?
Rachel C:  This is not a technology, but I love how libraries enable people to share their mutual like or dislike of a certain book.  It’s so validating when someone shares your opinion in this way.

Rachael A: If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job of it or integrate it into your job, what would it be? And how?
Rachel C:  I would love to be in charge of a specialized collection dealing with food, Jane Austen, British Mystery writers, or British Romantic poets.

Rachael A: You have been working in libraries for a number of years–what rapositions have you held? How did you get these jobs?
Rachel C: I started out as a student worker. I found this job through a friend who worked at the library. While in library school, I worked as a graduate assistant, then Library assistant I, and Library Assistant II.  The assistant positions just happened to be open while I was getting my MLIS and directly after I finished my degree.  I got married and moved to Michigan and got a job in medical records at a large medical office.  I found this job through the state employment website. I then was able to later transfer to the main hospital once I was in the system.  After the medical jobs, I applied for a public library position back in Alabama.  One of my references knew the assistant director there, and gave me a good recommendation. I had a phone interview and then flew-in for an in-person interview.  Both went well and I was offered the job.  My current position I heard about through two colleagues at separate organizations.  I had three interviews that went great and I am currently thriving in my new position.

Rachael A: Best piece of job hunting/career advice?ra
Rachel C:  Look everywhere.  When actively looking, I check ALA, regional library organization, state library organizations, hospital/ medical facilities,,, city/county sites, state employment sites, and I still check the newspaper and trade journals.  You never know what will lead to your next job.  Be open to anything.  My time in medical records got me interested in Health Information Management.



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.