Naomi House’s interview with success story, Kristin.
Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Kristin: I met a CPL branch manager while working on a class project. As I interviewed him for my assignment, we talked a bit about my career goals and experience. He ended up recommending me to the coordinator of the CyberNavigator program, who kept me on file until a position opened up.
Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Kristin: I was intimidated at first by the main library at UIUC, but once I learned how to navigate the stacks it was as though I had been granted access to an otherworldly cave of treasures. In the oldest part of the stacks, steel shelving supports the floors–as you move into newer additions, the ceilings are built higher and you have to transition through stairwells because the floors don’t all match up.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Kristin: I’m going to take a Chicago angle on this and say The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek, Boss by Mike Royko, and Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Kristin: I love having the opportunity to introduce people to things that make a difference in their lives. It can be as simple as showing a senior citizen how to use email and Facebook or helping a student discover databases when they’ve been relying on Google. All available for free in the library!
Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Kristin: As someone interested in public services and information literacy, it’s important to know what’s going on in the world around me. So I keep an eye on local and hyperlocal news and online community forums like EveryBlock. It helps in terms of simply connecting with patrons and can also be great for finding under-the-radar resources and getting a sense of a community’s information needs.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Kristin: I can be shy when it comes to self-promotion, and I sympathize with people who don’t think they’re the “networking type.” My advice is to take advantage of projects–whether on the job, in school, or for a blog post–that bring you in contact with others in the field. Bringing in a collaborator or asking for information or advice not only gives you an opportunity to make new contacts; it can let those people in on your skills and knowledge in an organic way. This can reap rewards down the road.
As of mid-December 2012, Kristin Moo will be a graduate of the LEEP program at the University of Illinois Graduate School for Library and Information Science. She comes to library work from a journalism career; she spent six years finding and sharing information as a public radio producer at WBEZ in Chicago. She’s currently earning her library cred as a CyberNavigator at the Rogers Park branch of the Chicago Public Library.