Yandee Vazquez …In Six

My interview with success story and INALJ volunteer, Yandee!

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Yandee:  I found my current position through a hodgepodge of library listservs, job finding websites, and any random page of information-related jobs that I put together over the course of 2 years. Pouring over the list of jobs was time consuming, but it eventually paid off.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Yandee:  My favorite library is the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. I considered attending the university there for library school and visited the National Library while I was there. The walk to the library is quite steep but the view from the top is gorgeous! The library itself looks stodgy and imposing as you walk up, but is actually quite lovely inside.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Yandee:  I am a big fan of C.S. Lewis and Stephen King, so my favorite is actually a tie between The Stand and The Great Divorce.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?
Yandee:  One of my favorite things about libraries and information technology is how they can widen the scope of an individual’s world. They bringing information that seems far off a lot closer to home, and clarify issues within the community that can be forgotten or ignored.  Collaborative space, while simultaneously preserving its existence as the cultural hub of communities.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Yandee:  Definitely this site! It was a huge help in my job search and in keeping up morale. I’d also recommend Open Cover Letters (http://opencoverletters.com/) which help me learn how to write a cover letter and how to best tailor it for employers. Hiring Librarians (http://hiringlibrarians.com/) is also a great resource. It really shows you the ideas and qualities libraries want to include, and thus hire, on their team.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Yandee:  The best advice I can give is to keep looking. It took me about an incredibly frustrating year and a half to get my current position. I sent out hundreds of applications to a variety of jobs, spent a lot of time re-working my cover letters and resumes, and read lots of rejections–when they thought to send them. In fact, I was told that my current position was already filled when I followed up on the interview. They called me three weeks later and asked me if I’d take the position. I started working 2 and a half months after the interview. You never know when something will turn up.

Also! Do something nice for yourself once in a while. It’s one of those things some people neglect to do when they’ve been job searching, but it can really help clear the mind and keep things going. ‘Something nice’ doesn’t have to be anything fancy either, it could just be taking the time to enjoy a crisp fall day.

Hello all! My name is Yandee Vazquez and I’m from Houston, TX. I completed a BA in English Literature at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX where I worked as a library aide for the entirety of my undergraduate schooling. While there I discovered the joy of providing and promoting information to the academic community and decided to pursue librarianship.

In May of this year I completed my MSLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began working with Texas Woman’s University (Houston) as the Library Assistant in September. I enjoy petting my cats Mina, Rupert, and Linus when they let me, and exploring Houston’s incredible variety of restaurants.

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.