Opt In

by Africa Hands, Head Editor, INALJ Kentucky

Opt In

bio photoGuess what friends? It may not seem like it, but you are in charge of your career, personal development, and advancement. The career website Careerealism has a tagline, Because Every Job is Temporary. Sure it’s somewhat disconcerting, but these days it’s true. You can’t rely on your supervisor to inform you of professional development opportunities, webinars, conferences, local meetings. It’s your job to find these opportunities and participate. You can’t rely on your employer to be in business tomorrow. Heck, even federal and state-level employees can’t be certain that they’ll be able to work five days a week. Furlough Fridays anyone?

This may sound disturbing, but really it is an opportunity to Opt In. We are in charge of staying informed of and involved in the library and information services field. And whether we do it on our own time or company time, we must opt in. We must opt in to attending free and low-cost webinars during our lunch breaks or in the evenings. We must opt in to submitting a proposal to present at the worldwide virtual international library conference – Library 2.013. We must opt in to actively participating and networking with colleagues in groups on LinkedIn and on professional listservs. We must opt in to participating in chats on Twitter using our personal Twitter accounts for what we may think is “work related”.

  • Say “yes” to committee work. Say “yes” to serving as a reviewer for a manuscript. Say “yes” to invitations to participate in chat sessions. Say “yes” because you are in control of your professional development which feeds into your career advancement.

There are numerous opportunities for opting in.

  • Want to hop on some Twitter chats, share resources with colleagues, and expand your network? Check out this list of essential Twitter chats for librarians.
  • Interested in writing for the profession? Check out A Library Writer’s Blog for opportunities.
  • Want to ease into conference presenting? Submit a proposal to Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference. http://www.library20.com/2013
  • In school and want to get involved with the ALA? Join as a student and take advantage of the student rate.
  • Want to serve on an ALA committee? Fill out the volunteer form. Each division has its own process but it all starts with a form. Associations can’t function without active, dedicate members.
  • Want to lurk on a listserv to learn more about a division or roundtable. Log in and sign up.

There is no shortage of opportunities available for you to take charge of your professional development and your career. Go ahead. Opt in.




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 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.