My interview with success story, Lauren
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Lauren: I worked in higher education prior to returning to school for my MSIS and always wanted to continue my professional career in that environment. After graduation from my program, I actively pursued positions in academic libraries but also monitored all job openings at local universities. Knowing that the broad technical and instructional skills I developed in iSchool would also translate to other fields, I put out applications for instructional design and web content development positions. I believe that connecting people to information is the core of librarianship and in that regard, a web manager is making decisions a librarian might also make.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Lauren: I may be biased but my favorite library at which I was an actively-circulating patron is the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT Austin. PCL has an extensive science fiction and fantasy collection that was supposedly built by a sci-fi fanboy bibliographer of yore. They also run a phenomenal ILL service; even obscure requests are almost always filled within a week or so.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Lauren: A book I find myself returning to year in and year out is Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” It is a classic YA coming-of-age story, but steeped in Bradbury’s sense of place and the seemingly-preternatural teenage attraction to the dark side of human nature. The novel also incorporates one of his most cherished themes: the library as an open passport to the world for kids growing up in a small town. Ray Bradbury was such a staunch supporter of libraries in his work and that resonated with me even as a kid.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Lauren: Libraries have always represented unfettered possibilities to me- sources of both known quantities that could be tracked down and unexpected discoveries to stumble upon in the stacks. I hope that we, as a profession, can find ways to preserve serendipitous discovery in developing library technologies.
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Lauren: In addition to all the wonderful lib-centric blogs I know we all follow, I encourage those working in universities to stay in touch with the broader state of higher ed via sites like Inside Higher Ed. Keeping tabs on burgeoning trends can boost strategic planning for any department at a university.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Lauren: Save yourself some time by following RSS feeds from your most coveted employers and check all the most recent listings from one location. I would also suggest that no one ever turn down an interview as you can never have too much interview experience!
After recently completing her MSIS at the University of Texas at Austin, Lauren Linn joined SHSU Online as one of several new Web Content Specialists.
She is enthusiastic about the intersection of academia and information technology, particularly as it relates to the presentation of information on the web. In her present position, she applies SEO tactics, information architecture and content marketing strategies for the improvement of Sam Houston State University’s online user experience.