Ilana Barnes …In Six

My interview with success story Ilana

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Ilana: I keep a very large Google reader feed going from a lot of different sources, so I’m not entirely sure where it was posted originally. I got my current group of feeds from my friend/awesome person Emily Johnson.

You can get them here:

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Ilana: In terms of overall prettiness, I love the Suzzallo Library Reading Room at the University of Washington where I went to undergraduate. The place still gives me chills.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Ilana: The great tragedy of being in graduate school to be a librarian is that you never get to read for fun! It is probably currently a tie between “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser and “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B. Dubois.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Ilana: When I tell people I am in school to become a librarian, they look at me like I just told them I wanted to be a typewriter salesman. “How interesting/ quaint” they tell me patting my hand, “good for you!”

The funny part is that they are imagining dust to dust, but I am imagining all the fantastically lively people, the wonderful places, the beautiful ideas I experience every day in libraries. I can’t imagine a place with more vision, with greater ambition and a brighter future to be part of.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Ilana: My friend Stephen Flynn over at the college of Wooster (who I think you already interviewed) does a great website of cover letters of recently hired librarians called Another friend/ current boss Corey Seeman does a great blog called A Library Writer’s Blog that posts publishing and presentation opportunities In the academic library world, it seems to be very important to keep track of the publication ebb and flow.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Ilana: Don’t get resume tunnel vision! There are so many (often free) things librarians can do to further themselves professionally that don’t involve moving words around on a piece of paper. Go to a conference! Join a committee! Learn a new scary thing! Take an additional internship in something that interests you! Go to lunch with an old boss and ask for the gossip in their network! Make a website! Get your friend to take professional pictures of you!

Compare notes! And by this I mean both sides of the interview table. Talk to librarians that hire and see how they see the job search process. Ask your compatriots about their experience so you know what to expect. Job searching is often mysterious for everyone involved and it doesn’t need to be.

Ilana Barnes will be graduating this April from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a dual specialization in Library & Information Science and Preservation of Information. She currently works at the Kresge Business Administration Library as Circulation Supervisor as well as at the Clark Library for Maps, Government Information and Data Services as a Reference Assistant. At SI, She is the President of the American Library Association Student Chapter where she organized quasi-conference, a day-long unconference/conference for students and professionals. This May, she is excited to start work at Purdue University Libraries as a Business Information Specialist Librarian.

Photo used with permission