Lupita Sebastian-O’Brien …Success Story

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Naomi House’s interview with success story Lupita.

lupitasbNaomi:  How did you find your current job?
Lupita:  So let take a crack at this…
How I found my job…  Even before library school I had seen an add for a library assistant job and found out about the Bccls library job site:  It’s a really good site if you live in the Bergen county area of New Jersey.  After school I would look at the inalj, and  bccls and although I sent out many many cover letters and resumes, I only received four interviews (two of which were with the Library I’m with now).

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Lupita:  My favorite library visit was to the Cloisters Library in New York.  I went with a school group.  We saw some beautiful collections, we had a tour of the tower room and  and saw amazing views.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Lupita:  One of my favorite books is “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” by Edward Tufte.  I’m visual so I love that graphics can be used to understand information.  And when one of my professors mentioned it in library school I knew I was in the right place.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Lupita:  My favorite thing about libraries is that we are in a time of transformation and re-invention.  Exciting times full of questions and challenges which is usually the edge of where great advances happen.  I look forward to seeing where an information commons takes us and learning and being more responsive to our community and our patrons.  Especially since in order to help them we will need to learn about new technologies, which is always fun.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Lupita:  Groups I follow: danah boyd and Jane McGonigal on twitter.  There are more but those are the most fun.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Lupita:  So the thing I think helped me land my job was to go to the interview as if I already had the job.  Not in an egotistical or snooty way, but just get really prepared.  So if I really had the job, I would need to know what “my” library was up to.  To this end, I became really  intimate with their web site.  Next I did a demographic analysis on the town so I would get a more in depth picture of who “our” patrons were and asked questions at the two interviews that would help me get an idea of how to serve them better.  I think being really prepared and going in what that kind of mind set was what helped set me apart.  Also being fluent in Spanish did not hurt since the Hispanic population in Lodi, New Jersey has really grown.

Although I am just starting my first position in a public library, as a youth services and children’s librarian at the Lodi Memorial Library in New Jersey, I have worked in two special libraries and was a library assistant in grammar school placing the thick mylar protective covers on books for the school library collection.  So you could say I got the bug, from way, way back!

I am originally from NYC but lived part of the year in Mexico, while growing up, and moved to New Jersey as a teen.  I have BA from Douglass College where I majored in fine arts and minored in anthropology.  I speak and write Spanish fluently.  I did my internship at the Tamiment Library at NYU where I worked with printed ephemera and photographs belonging to American labor union and socialist groups.

I love learning about new technology and social science innovations that will help libraries and take care of a husband and a cat.