My interview with success story, Melissa
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Melissa: I found my new job at the City College of New York initially through HigherEdJobs.com. During 18 months of job searching, even with great resources such as INALJ, HERC, HigherEdJobs and USAJobs, I rarely made it to a first interview. I had six interviews during my search, and only two were for librarian positions, and another was a web technology/coding position. With 150 applicants going for the same job posting, I fell to the bottom of the heap because I did not have enough full-time experience on my résumé. It was disheartening, and so I cast my job search net wider, and returned to my higher education administration roots, and finally was lucky to be offered my new position.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Melissa: My favorite library is the Bodleian Library at Oxford University. I studied abroad in Bath, England in Spring 2003 through the Advanced Studies in England program, but had some coursework on different Oxford campuses. It was steeped with tradition, and while I was never allowed in the rare books section, I drooled at it from the other side of the security gates. Many people will recognize this space from the Harry Potter movies.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Melissa: How can you ask a librarian this? I have so many different genres that I read, but the complete Sherlock Holmes series of stories are my favorite as an adult. While I never enjoyed mystery as a youth, I’ve grown into it, and now I seem to gravitate towards it, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s setting is a perfect complement to my enjoyment of history.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Melissa: I always go to libraries when I am able. I prefer college and university libraries for the diversity of the collections, and usually having more quiet areas for me to ready and study. Library technology has made information more accessible to all, but that accessibility comes with a price — one has to recognize which source materials are valid and have strong authority, and that’s why librarians will never be fully removed from the picture.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Melissa: My fellow student at Drexel University, Peter Coyl, posts some interesting stories and experiences on his site, http://adventuresofaguybrarian.com/.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Melissa: In this job market, you likely won’t land a dream job, even if you have a lot of experience. Networking does help a lot, and keeping connected with others can lead to jobs that may not be posted to the public. Also, being prepared to look at non-traditional library/information professional positions, as well as completely different careers that will utilize your library science skills, are the best way to find a job. Also, this time is frustrating for anyone in any field. You can’t take it personally, even though that is extremely tough.
My name is Melissa Hozik. I have grown up and lived in southern New Jersey for the majority of my life. I have a BA from Dickinson College, and MPA (and NPA certificate) from the University of Pennsylvania, and my MS[LIS] from Drexel University. My passions outside of learning and helping others with their information needs are cooking and baking, and I’ve done some of those projects on the side while I was underemployed for the past 18 months. I have also written a children’s book, and am looking for an illustrator so I can self-publish this year.