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.