Tanya Koukeyan …In Six

My interview with success story, Tanya

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Tanya: I set an Indeed.com job alert for “Prospect Researcher” and it popped into my inbox one day.


Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Tanya: It’s still my hometown library, the Pasadena Main Branch Library. The walls are mahogany-paneled, the study rooms have that old-timey 1930s look, the main hall echoes when you talk. It feels majestic.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Tanya: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I read it in college and it helped me realize being weird is an asset.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Tanya: I like how there is always some creative way to get information into people’s hands. The possibilities are endless. Where I was volunteering, at the Los Angeles County Arboretum Library, we were developing online exhibits, including interactive ones that you could use with a smartphone while walking the grounds. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had the ideas.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Tanya: If you are interested in Prospect Research and want to work in California, then definitely follow the CARA website and Facebook page. There are always conferences, networking, and even mentoring opportunities.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Tanya: Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting a decent job at a decent wage. Many will urge you to not be picky, to take whatever you can get, etc. Yes, yes I know the economy is bad and the library job market is rough. But people do still land decent (I’m not saying utopic) jobs and so can you if you believe you are just as worthy as anyone else.

I guess you can say I was always in the information field. In my first job out of school I was a nosey reporter for a newspaper in Pasadena. Then I fell into Development work, where I soon specialized in research, database development, and informatics. I obtained my MLIS from San Jose State in 2011, and I just started my new job as the Director of Research and Prospect Management at the University of Redlands. As hobbies, I enjoy stand-up comedy, politics, and playing Sherlock Holmes by using deductive reasoning techniques to solve mysteries. I’m hopeless, I know.

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.