Matching Needs with Wants

Matching Needs with Wants: or how job hunting makes sense to me

by Naomi House, MLIS

naomi house croppedWe all need to work to pay the bills, or at least most of us do.  We do not think to apply to every single job out there because we (as info pros) have degrees (MLS, MLIS) and skillsets that make us good at specific things.  What we have going for us is that our need for a job coupled with our want to have a job that applies our skillsets means our needs and wants support each other.  We have the dream scenario- we know what we want to do and people will pay us to do it (once we find the job)!

I know it isn’t as easy as that- finding a job can be very hard for numerous reasons (lack of job openings, location issues, interviewing skills issues, and problems outside your control).  But what I am reminding myself is that at least we have a passion that we can get paid to do.  That does not mean that the job we dream about is the one we will be hired to do or even that that job will truly be our dream job.  If you want to be an info pro or librarian to only work in one type of environment then you are in it for the wrong reasons.  If you daydream of gorgeous old wood and musty old books surrounding you then you are too engrossed in atmosphere/ fantasy and not in the work.  Information science is about the work, and the work is what should inspire you.  That will come through in your interviews as well.

I highly recommend looking beyond the library jobs at jobs in fields that utilize our skillsets.  We have more opportunities than just the “L” jobs, in our MLIS.  INALJ has a list of job types and keyterms on the left sidebar of each page of my website as well as the links of great terms I link to below my list that others have come up with.

I hope that by approaching your search as a fulfillment of both your needs and wants you will have better luck in your job hunt!

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.