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Naomi House’s interview with success story Ryan.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Ryan: The Staatsbibliothek in Berlin was a big deal, where they filmed the scene from Wings of Desire where angels are listening to readers’ thoughts as they pore over materials in different languages. Also a big fan of Carnegie branch libraries and those in New York that used to house apartments for custodians and their families.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Ryan: Life Stories: Profiles From The New Yorker. Read it perhaps 10 years ago, still think about the pieces regularly. Also Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ryan: You don’t have to go to a library to benefit from it.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Ryan: Right now I support my company’s work in health care, so I’m a big fan of the Fierce network. They have some very good healthcare content, and they’re excellent about linking to further content and source material within their stories.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ryan: Do your research and look the part. Wear a suit, know the organization and the industry, don’t put your needs ahead of theirs, and write each cover letter from the ground up. Don’t try to do all the prep yourself, either: public librarians and those at local universities can be awfully good at giving you pointers. I knew of a library director who prepped for his interview for that job by talking with the reference staff of that library for a couple of hours. To get to know the organizational culture, the history, the local environment, all that stuff.