My interview with INALJ success story, Jennifer
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Jennifer: I am lucky enough to have two library jobs. One is at my local, small, rural library, which I basically begged for, despite it being a shelving position. I found this position via networking. I knew both the previous shelver and the librarians at this library, so I was able to find out when someone was leaving, rare, since this library has very little turnover. While I hate the term “networking,” I do think making connections within the library world is important.
My second library job, as a reference substitute at a mid-sized library, I found via INALJ. I am ending my first year in an MLIS program and thought I’d start watching job listings, both to hopefully augment my practical experience and to get an idea of what skills, knowledge and abilities employers are seeking.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Jennifer: This is corny, but I love the small public library I grew up going to as a child, the Sunnyland branch of the Washington, IL Public Library. While others in my neighborhood were playing ball, I was a pretty constant resident at the library, often reading the most books in the summer reading program, helping the librarian shelve books and avoiding both household chores and my annoying younger sisters.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Jennifer: I really love the Harry Potter series. Some of my best memories of raising my two children revolve around read Rowling’s series. Additionally, while they loved books before HP, I do think the series is what ensured they would be life-long readers.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Jennifer: While this may sound naïve, I love how libraries are largely egalitarian in nature. The libraries I work at have a varied clientele and I appreciate how everyone has access and everyone is treated with respect.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Jennifer: I subscribed to LITA’s technology listserv in order to learn about both the technology problems libraries face and how other libraries have solved such issues.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Jennifer: I began my job search well before graduation and was willing to accept a less-than-ideal position in order to work within a library and gain hands-on experience. Additionally, in applying for positions, I have stressed my customer service experience and positive attitude about the public, as so much of circulation and reference work is about engaging with the public in a positive manner.
Jennifer Jacobsen-Wood is, in her own words, “the oldest living grad student.” She is entering her second year of graduate school, obtaining a degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. Librarianship is her third career- with her first as a postal clerk, the second, managing a database for a small non-profit.
She loves books, libraries, baking and running; oh, and her children and husband. (But mainly books.)