On SLA, Both Near and Far

by Naomi House

On SLA, Both Near and Far

I am missing SLA Annual this year in San Diego.  I am frankly much the worse for it.  I am blessed to haveSLA HQ Happy Hour 2013 been able to speak and travel so much this year and my time-off requests finally caught up with me.  Next year, I promise myself to plan better.  This is simply a can’t miss event and the fact that it is being held on the west coast means a large group of librarians I have not met yet will be attending.  So I sit in my room and comfort myself by following the #sla2013 Twitter feeds and the SLA Facebook postings and I am grateful to have these glimpses into what appears to be another fab conference!  (in the photo at right are Sharon Lenius, Deb Hunt, Linda Broussard, Nevenka Zdravkovska and me, Naomi House)

SLA has been great for me in my career as well.  The leadership has encouraged thinking beyond the usual job titles and I have been able to serve at the local level.  I am on the strategic plan committee for DC/SLA, my local chapter.  Membership for students and the unemployed is very inexpensive as well and I consider it high value and worth the small cost to me in my career.  We all spend money on things we don’t need and balk at investing in our networks and careers, which baffles me.  It is well worth it.

Recently SLA Virginia President and INALJ VA assistant, Patrick Dougherty invited me to co-host a happy hour with Deb Hunt, President of SLA at SLA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. I was in for a treat.  I was able to chat about so much that is going on in our field with SLA leadership and discuss some of my petSLA HQ Happy Hour with Patrick projects/concerns, library employment and international librarianship.  It was relaxed and yet invigorating and I am still making plans and working off of suggestions I gleaned from my chats.  Patrick was pretty phenomenal for having put this all together and for driving all the way there from Charlottesville area!  Wow!  I thank him as well for helping you guys find jobs in his volunteer work with INALJ VA (and previously he assisted INALJ PA).  Thanks Patrick (see us in the photo to the left) 🙂

The thing about SLA is that events like these, both the local ones and national ones are often free or low cost.  I am blown away by what they are doing- truly doing more with less and I encourage anyone to get involved.  I am certain that my career is better for it.


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 20.5 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.