Lauren Linn …Success Story

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.

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.