Rhonda Donaldson …In Six

My interview with success story, Rhonda

Naomi: How did you find your current job?

Rhonda:I always look on the INALJ pages, but a friend sent me the email listing for my new job.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to? 

Rhonda: My absolute favorite library to visit so far, I have a few but, the British Library is absolutely amazing.  From the Kings thrones to the Kings tower (o’ Books), the library is really something to see.  As a student, I wrote to the British Library and asked for a behind the scenes tour and they were nice enough to take me around the library.  If you like a behind the scenes tour, I would suggest writing to the library where you will be visiting and asking for a tour.  It never hurts and the worst that can happen is they say no…


Naomi: Favorite book?

Rhonda: The book I come back to, again and again, is Restoree by Anne McCaffrey.  When I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed, this book helps me to put it in perspective.  I have probably read this book at least 10 times over the years.  I can’t explain it…but it works for me.  I also like anything by Neil Gaiman.


Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?

Rhonda: Technology makes life easier, at least until the power goes off, and I can share the information with many more people at the click of a mouse.


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

Rhonda:  Mine of course, lol, http://heyimlearning.blogspot.com/ but seriously, I have a few I follow:

In the Library with the Lead Pipe – http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/

Mr. Library Dude – http://mrlibrarydude.wordpress.com/  great career advice here

Derangement and Description – http://derangementanddescription.wordpress.com/

The Abominable Charles Christopher – http://www.abominable.cc/ my favorite web comic

Neil Gaiman – http://www.neilgaiman.com/


Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?


  • First and foremost, be yourself.  The “true you” will come out in the end.
  • If you have been taking classes to improve or change focus, let them know in the cover letter if it applies to the job description.
  • Research the institution when you apply.  Keep the information in a folder along with the cover letter and when you get an interview, review the information as well as research some more.  After the interview, place the notes in the folder with the other information; review when you get the second interview and research the school some more.
  • Ask questions, I knew I would have more questions after reflecting on the phone interview and I had asked during the interview if I could email with more questions.  They said yes and answered the questions in a follow up email.
  • Do not forget to send a thank you email to everyone you interviewed with for all of your interviews even the VPAA if they were also involved.
  • Try not to beat yourself up after the interview.  If you have researched, practiced Q&A with friends or as I did, wrote the answers down, were true to yourself, sent your thanks, and did the very best you could, then there is nothing else you can do but wait it out.

Good luck, INALJers!


Rhonda Donaldson: (In Black in photo above) I am the new Coordinator of Electronic Resources & Collection Development at Scarborough Library, Shepherd University. This is a second career for me; I was a hair stylist in a previous life, make-up artist for a local public TV station, and after receiving my BA, a Library Technical Assistant II in the Access Services Department at WVU. Went for my MLIS at the University of Pittsburgh while working at WVU, (rival schools, that was interesting), and wanted to work in preservation. My first professional position was a small University in the Oklahoma panhandle, OPSU.

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 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.