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Naomi House’s interview with success story Linda.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Linda: I am fortunate that I work in the school district where I got the job and knew that the librarian was retiring. I will say, however, that my district does not automatically hire from within, so I have been working hard to make sure that they knew that I would be an asset in the position.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Linda: When I was pre-school aged, there was a tiny library in a strip mall within walking distance from my house. Miss Susan would read books to the preschoolers there for story hour, and it was the BEST PLACE EVER! I remember being devastated when they closed it and consolidated with the larger library system. Fortunately, Miss Susan made the move, too, but it was never the same. That library was proof that you don’t need an amazing space if you have an amazing librarian.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Linda: This is kind of a tough question for a reader – there are so many genres and moods to consider. The book that affected me the strongest was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It was the first time in my life that I sobbed not only because of the ending, but also because the book ended. Does that count as a book hangover?
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Linda: I love that libraries are always changing and adapting to the needs of the patron. I love that librarians and libraries, by their nature, are always looking to explore new avenues and new information. Is it always successful? No, but it is definitely refreshing to know that it is a position where, if I do my job well, I should never fall into a rut. I suppose that any job or place with a strong connection to technology in addition to always looking at the latest materials being published in various forms will have to adapt, change, and be creative.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Linda: Neverending Search
A Media Specialists Guide to the Internet
In the Library with the Lead Pipe
Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
Free Technology for Teachers
The Innovative Educator
Much Ado About Technology , (my blog which I hope I will be able to update more often now that I have a library job and will not be spending lots of time working one full-time job while also actively conducting a job search – a job search IS a full-time job!)
And of course, The Oatmeal
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Linda: Make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest information in the field, and be specific to your area – education, archives, etc.
STAR anecdotes are helpful, so be sure to have some stories that illustrate times where you were being helpful, learning something about yourself, dealing with someone difficult, and so forth. When asked a question where one of these stories will work, it will help you feel and be natural and comfortable in the interview. It will also show your personality to the interviewer. Be honest on your resume because many employers will ask questions to see if you are padding it or if you actually know your “stuff.” When you are honest and they ask those probing, specific questions designed to see if you are padding, you look awesome not only for knowing your stuff, but also because they know you are honest.
I have been an English teacher for 18 years, and have spent the past 13 years at Northern Burlington County Regional Middle School in Columbus, NJ. Starting in September, I am thrilled that I will be the media specialist for Northern Burlington Regional High School. I have 3 children and one granddaughter. My husband and I love to travel, so we are usually on the road almost any time that school is not in session. Some of our favorite places to visit include Williamsburg, VA; Lake Lure, NC; Newport, RI; and Pigeon Forge, TN. We also were excited to visit Punxsutawney Phil in his home at the Punxsutawney Library in PA this past winter.