Michelle Bourgeois …In Six

My interview with success story, Michelle

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Michelle: I found my current job on the library system’s jobs board webpage. I was looking in a particular geographical area, so in addition to looking at INALJ, I frequently checked the websites of the library systems in that area.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Michelle: I love the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Their YouMedia Center for teens is fantastic, and they have a beautiful garden area and museum on the top floor.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Michelle: There are so many! One of my most recent favorites is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. The main character and awesomely clever narrator, Hazel, is 16 and has a form of terminal cancer. Though illness plays a major role in the book, the story is more about the relationship between Hazel and Augustus Waters, the boy she meets (and falls for) at her support group. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. It was beautiful, poignant, and clever. I would recommend it to both teens and adults.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Michelle: I love that public libraries are community spaces where all are welcome to read, explore, learn, and have fun. One of my favorite things about technology in libraries is that I have the opportunity to constantly learn about new technology to help serve patrons better. In the library where I’ll be working, I am excited to teach patrons how to use the library’s digital media lab to edit music, video, and other media. My last job focused on information/instructional technology, so I’m really excited to continue working with technology!

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Michelle: For people who are looking in one geographical area, it’s helpful to look at the websites and jobs boards of libraries and library systems in that area. I also followed ALA Joblist, LibGig, Get Library Jobs, and INALJ on Twitter. As for websites, I really liked hiringlibrarians.com and opencoverletters.com. Finally, going to my school’s career center and doing a mock interview helped a lot! They gave great input on applications and helped me to practice my interview skills.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Michelle: Be persistent and stay optimistic! Use all the great resources librarians have put together to help each other (like INALJ and Open Cover Letters). Treat the job search like it’s a job, and practice interview questions so you’re prepared in each step of the process.

My name is Michelle and I am a recent MLIS grad. I love reading, technology, traveling, coffee, and crafts. I just got a new camera and am excited to learn more about photography/photo editing. I also really want to learn how to make gifs. My current TV obsessions are Friday Night Lights (I don’t even like football, but I love this show), Downton Abbey, and Community. I’ve worked at a rock climbing wall, a coffee shop, a book store, a library, another book store… Most recently, I was a graduate and teaching assistant at my graduate school’s instructional technology and design office and help desk. I’m very excited to start my new position as a teen librarian!

Oh! I have a book/library themed tumblr too (follow me! 🙂 ): http://bookconfessions.tumblr.com/

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, 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 20.5 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. 

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