This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions
Naomi House’s interview with success story Samantha.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Samantha: I’m going to cop out a little and mention two: the Historic Medical Library at Pennsylvania Hospital (http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/paharc/timeline/1751/tline4.html) and the library at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction (http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/library/). I love Pennsylvania Hospital’s Historic Medical Library because its books show a lot of the research interests of physicians at the time (some of which are pretty out there) and it looks like a beautiful, quintessential library of the time. I mention the second because I used to work at the Kinsey Institute’s library and can say, firsthand, that the collection and people there are wonderful.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Samantha: One of my favorite books is Jonathan Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time, because of the way he details Peter and Rosemary Grant’s great care and interest of the Galapagos’ finches. I also enjoy all of the hilarious books by Christopher Moore and reading Nick Hornby’s books for his neurotic characters. Like many librarians, I can’t choose one!
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Samantha: My favorite thing about libraries and librarians is that there is always someone there to show you the ropes. I love that libraries can be quiet places of reflection and study, and that many libraries now offer information commons where talking and collaborating is expected and encouraged in those spaces. Libraries are often early adopters of new technology, and it’s exciting that I get to be a part of that and show other people how to use some of these new tools so that they can access new and useful resources or access current resources in an easier way.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Samantha: Aside from INALJ, I really like using the Information Literacy Toolkit provided by the University of Texas at Austin’s Libraries (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/signaturecourses). I used this several times as an Instruction Assistant while pursuing my Master’s and I have no doubt I’ll continue to use it as a teaching librarian. Additionally, Project Information Literacy’s (http://projectinfolit.org) research is wonderful because the studies’ breadth shows the gaps that need to be addressed in information literacy sessions at universities, which is very useful to me as a new librarian.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Samantha: Start early and go visit other libraries in your area, because something may pop up at that library and having shown your face before will make a good impression. I graduated May 2013 and I started applying for jobs late October 2012. It mostly gave me time to figure out what sort of job I really wanted as well as work on how to best phrase things in cover letters. I visited UofL last summer to interview several librarians about emerging technologies, and when my current position was posted last fall, I made sure to mention that I had been there recently to interview some of their librarians. Getting your face in the door helps people remember you.
I am the new Social Sciences Teaching & Faculty Outreach Librarian at the University of Louisville. I received my MLS from Indiana University in May 2013 where I worked in several Public Services positions. I hold my BA from UNC Chapel Hill in Anthropology with a minor in Archaeology. Between undergrad and graduate school, I volunteered at a local public library and it really solidified my decision to work in a library and in position that directly helps people find what they want. I became a librarian because I love working with people, researching, and learning new things. When I’m not at work, I enjoy doing (or trying) crossword puzzles and being outdoors.
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