Meredith McGowan …Success Story

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 Meredith McGowan, success story and librarian!

meredithmcgowanNaomi:  How did you find your current job?

Meredith:  I contacted a grad school friend of mine who worked in the contracting services business.  She was able to connect me with a wonderful recruiter who has consistently kept me employed for the last year.


Naomi:   Favorite library you have been to?

Meredith:  I believe in diamonds in the rough and East Los Angeles Library is one of those hidden treasures.  It is situated on a lake and has beautiful surroundings.  Inside, the library is an art piece!  There is intricate tile work and colorful surroundings.  Through many generous donations, there is a Chicano Resource Center that caters to the local community and the academic scholars.  Don’t forget the fabulous Farmer’s Market every Saturday with vendors like Homeboyz Bakery and the incredible mango fresca!


Naomi:  Favorite book?

Meredith:  Hands down, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  I dreamed of owning a goat farm in England for weeks afterward.  The haunting story stayed with me.


Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?

Meredith:  For the last year, I have worked in inner-city libraries where the community depends on services, such as computers and programming for youth, for free.  This is the most important aspect of my profession.  We provide information, activities, basic and necessary technology and information for free to all of the community.


Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?

Meredith:  Well, of course, INALJ!  For me, I use Pinterest for ideas.  There is so much information out there.  It is good to not be limited to just a few websites, but be able to filter the good from the bad and take information beneficial to you!


My name is Meredith McGowan and I am a Prius-driving, book-loving Foodie who is a Librarian by nature! I was a preschool teacher for 16 years, while I got my undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies at CSUN, with the intent on shifting into life as an elementary school teacher. Serendipity would have it, that I was contacted by my old Alma Mater, that they were implementing a new MLIS program through the University of North Texas.  I enrolled in the very first cohort that CSUN offered.  I absolutely loved grad school!  I graduated with Phi Kappa Phi honors.  Finding a full-time permanent job wasn’t as easy as I thought.  I am currently contracting with the County of Los Angeles, making many network connections and am on a list for an interview for permanent employment through the county.

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.