Robin Rockman …In Six

My interview with success story and INALJ volunteer, Robin!

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Robin:  BCCLS, which is a large consortium in New Jersey of mostly northern NJ libraries has a great and very active Jobs board.  I would say 90% of the jobs I applied to and interviewed with were through their jobs board.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Robin:  I have yet to meet a library that I didn’t love.  Even one-room converted trailers are beautiful to me!  I interned at Bon Appetit Magazine and, for a foodie, found their library to be heaven.  Surrounded by cookbooks and food writing all day?  Yes, please!  I am also really partial to the Junior Room at the Oradell Free Public Library, where I work.  It’s large and spacious with so many little areas for people to play or cozy up with books.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Robin:  Oh, where do I begin? The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger is probably the only book I have read twice as an adult because I loved it so much the first time (not including some of the Harry Potter books, which are in a category all to themselves).  The Elephant & Piggie books by Mo Willems and Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin are some of those rare children books where I was probably laughing harder than the kids.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?
Robin:  Libraries: It’s a huge room or building of books!!!  And it’s free to borrow!!  Libraries have always been my place to go when I feel like I am in a rut.  It’s like, what do I want to learn more about today or where do I want to go?  Books take me there and I come out of the library feeling energized and infinitely better.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Robin:  Open Cover Letters and Hiring Librarians were probably the most helpful during the job search process with an insider’s point of view on how to present myself.  There are tons of great bloggers that regularly blog about the storytimes they create and that has been extremely instrumental as I plan and prepare storytime for the kids.  This is a good page to start with: http://melissa.depperfamily.net/blog/?page_id=519.  The ALA Think Tank group on Facebook has also been instrumental in keeping me up to date on issues in the library community, as well as programming ideas and situations I am likely to encounter with the day to day stuff.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Robin:  Whatever makes you the most uncomfortable, whatever your weakness is…  work on that.  Volunteer, talk to people, confront criticism…push your boundaries, as it is the only way you will grow and learn.  Oh- and I found it really helpful to write each cover letter from scratch to ensure that it was personal and specific to the job.  It was a LOT of work, but I had a pretty high rate of calls for interviews so I think the hard work really does pay off.

I am a corporate refugee, having spend 10 years in the music industry, most notably as the Advertising Director for Warner Music Group, and another 2 years at a small advertising agency where I primarily focused on reaching parents, moms-to-be, and children.  I received my MLIS from Rutgers in early 2012 and am now the Youth Services Librarian at the Oradell Free Public Library in Oradell, NJ.  I also fill in on the reference desk at another library that I interviewed with, but didn’t get the job.  It just goes to show that you never know how things will work out.  I enjoy reading, exercising, and cooking.  Although my current obsession is Gems with Friends.

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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