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 Alex Perry: INALJ Alabama Assistant Editor & Legal Assistant at McArdle & Whitman and a freelance researcher/writer
Rachael: Favorite Library you have been to?
Alex: The Jefferson Market Library on 6th Ave NY in NYC. It’s a former women’s prison built like a castle. Right across the street from where I went to college so it’s a prominent landmark in my memories of those days.
Rachael: Favorite book?
Alex: If I have to pick, Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal, but there are plenty of others I might substitute.
Rachael: Favorite website/blog?
Rachael: Favorite thing about libraries/library technologies?
Alex: The reference section. The internet is for chumps. Just kidding!
Rachael: 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?
Alex: Since I don’t currently work in a library, finding employment at a library would help me integrate my favorite hobby into my job. Favorite hobby=books, reading books, talking about books, thinking about books.
Rachael: You have been working in libraries for a number of years–what positions have you held? How did you get these jobs?
Alex: I have worked outside the field for three years, first in a couple of political consulting firms and now at a law firm. My first boss was looking for an employee with a good attitude, attention to detail, and organizational skills, and he saw librarianship as an ideal field to recruit from to meet those needs. Subsequent bosses have been attracted by my reputation and not necessarily my degree, but the lesson is the same: people will make assumptions about you based on your degree, and you may be able to work that to your advantage.
Rachael: Best piece of job hunting/career advice?
Alex: Some of the skills you acquire in library school look good to people in a lot of different fields so don’t necessarily limit yourself to finding work in a library if there’s none available. I, for instance, have worked in a non-library research and writing capacity for three years. But you should also remember that the more enjoyable job functions of librarianship don’t really carry over to most other fields. You may be trading a job you know will be satisfying for “just” a job. So, my advice is: Be flexible, but be cautious.