Erin Wenz …In Six

My interview with INALJ volunteer and success story, Erin

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Erin:  I have been lucky to work with the wonderful people at my current employer for the past few years.  When a professional librarian position opened up, I jumped at the chance to apply.  Of course, the position was advertised in several places (including INALJ) and several other candidates applied.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Erin:  I have enjoyed a number of libraries, but I think my favorites have been my hometown public library (Rochester Public Library in MN) because of all of the memories I have from my childhood, the cozy library at Wheelock College that had so many of the books I used for my classes at Simmons College, and the Newton Public Library for its wide-ranging, but unintimidating collection.  I am leaving so many good libraries off this list!

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Erin:  My favorite book changes regularly.  One of the last books that I fell in love with is Frances Itani’s Remembering the Bones.  I rewarded myself after a busy time by exploring a small, local book-and-music store housed in a restaurant (brilliant!).  This book caught my eye and fully lived up to its promise!  I would recommend it in particular to those who enjoyed To the Lighthouse or like episodic novels.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Erin:  I love the relationships that are formed through the library.  Librarians form connections with users in so many ways and encourage them to return.  Users interact with one another through programs or through collaborative projects.  Library materials and resources connect individuals to real and imagined others across the globe.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Erin:  For library-related searches, In the Library with the Lead Pipe, InfoDocket, NeverEndingSearch, The Code4Lib Journal, Teen Librarian Toolbox, and the Swiss Army Librarian are good.  WebJunction is a wonderful resource as well.  If advertisements do not bother you, Free Technology for Teachers is a good resource.  Kath Eats Real Food is a fun non-library resource.  I just found the exciting news that The Year of 52 Adventures is still going.  I also enjoy Whatcha’ Reading Now?, though it sadly has not been updated in a while.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Erin:  The best advice I can share is to be willing to experiment.  Work on projects that take you outside of your comfort zone.  Volunteer in a variety of places.  Apply for positions that may not be what you originally imagined yourself doing

Erin, a former mid-Westerner, recently became the Electronic Resources Librarian at a small, but growing academic institution on the East Coast. She loves helping people and seeing them get excited by new ideas, tools, or entertainment options. Working in libraries and attending library school have been eye-opening for her. Who knew so much went on behind the scenes! Ultimately, she wants to end up in a professional position in a public library. In the meantime, she is thrilled to explore other avenues.  She has found some wonderful volunteer opportunities that enhance her work experience.  She learns so much from those around her! 

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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