Jessica Crossfield …In Six

My interview with success story, Jessica

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Jessica: We have some great list serves in Ohio, including OhioLINK and Kent State SLIS. Tons of jobs are posted daily and most of them are local. My current position just popped up in my mailbox one day!

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Jessica: I am very fortunate to live in Columbus where our public library system was honored with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the IMLS in 2011 and won the Library Journal’s National Library of the Year award in 2010. Needless to say, we have a great public library system! I also really enjoyed visiting the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. It was really wonderful to see how different countries run their state libraries and it is a beautiful building to spend time in.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Hardest question ever! But I would have to say that Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides tops my list. I also love White Teeth by Zadie Smith and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Jessica:  As a previous journalist, the things I love most about libraries are the access to information and the creation of community. The fact that we are able to offer so much for our students is what makes being a librarian great.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Jessica:  I really have enjoyed following INALJ (great job Naomi!). I also follow In the Library with the Lead Pipe, the Kept-Up Academic Librarian, and the Librarian in Black. The This is What a Librarian Looks Like Tumblr has been great to follow as well. It helps to shatter a lot of the stereotypes of librarianship.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Jessica:  Volunteer, intern, get involved, do ANYTHING you can to get started in the field. Once I started my graduate program, I immediately volunteered at the local history and genealogy department and got a job as a paraprofessional in our local community college. That led to a position in periodicals, which then got me my first position as a reference librarian. I see so many people graduating with a MLIS without any previous library experience. So get some! That is what will get you a job over anything else.

Jessica Crossfield is the Reference Services Coordinator, Assistant Professor at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism from the University of Florida in 2005 and after working for 5 years in newspapers and educational publishing, decided to pursue her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University. Jessica worked as a reference librarian at Columbus State Community College before being hired in her current position. In her spare time, she cooks lots of vegan food, plays the ukulele, knits, runs, and goes to hear awesome bands play. 

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.