Jessica Szad ..In Six

My interview with success story, Jessica

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Jessica: I started out as an intern at History Works, Inc. almost three years ago after being referred to the company by an archivist at DePaul University. I soon became a part time Research Assistant and continued in that role for two years while I was in school. This summer I was hired full time as a Researcher and Project Manager after another employee went to grad school. The position took a while to obtain, but was worth the wait!

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Jessica: I’ve worked as a researcher in a good amount of libraries across the country for my past and current positions at History Works, but my favorite is still DePaul University’s Lincoln Park library in Chicago. It’s such a peaceful place to work and study.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Jessica: 1984 by George Orwell

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Jessica: I love the open access of libraries and availability to all people. In addition to offering free books, movies, etc., I love the different programming libraries offer to the public for no charge. And the occasional book sales are great too!

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Jessica: You Ought to be Ashamed, discusses issues in the field of archives. Some of the posts are controversial, but they bring awareness to the problems in the archival and library field.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Jessica: Keep in contact with former colleagues, coworkers, and especially supervisors! Maintaining a relationship with former colleagues can take effort, but if a a position opens up down the road they will hopefully think of you first. Also, be open to non-traditional information jobs that your degree would be helpful in.

I am from Brookfield, Illinois, a suburb very close to Chicago. I recently earned my MLS from Dominican University and obtained a BA in History from DePaul University. I’ve always loved books, reading, and history so I decided I wanted to pursue a career in archives or special collections. I’ve ended up doing historical research for History Works, Inc. in Chicago, a rather non-traditional job for library students. Before that I worked in a number of fascinating archives including the archives at The Pampered Chef and Planned Parenthood Illinois. In my free time I enjoy watching terrible horror films, eating sushi, and of course reading.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, 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 21 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.