Jobs, Hope, and Community

***Want to find ALL our jobs?  They all live at this link, INALJ Daily Jobs***

Jobs, Hope, and Community by Amy Nickless.

I’m not a INALJ “success story”, but maybe in the future I will be.  However, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the value of the site and its efforts.  Naomi House did a wonderful job by creating this venture to help fellow librarians, librarians-to-be, archivists, and archivists-to-be with their job searches.  With the help of her editors and volunteers, INALJ expanded and will hopefully have a long life.

What are some ways in which INALJ helpful?  There are many, but let me highlight the few I consider the best.

  1. Locates Jobs Not On Other Popular Sites and Listservs:  The INALJ Digest has frequently featured job not listed on other popular library job sites, like ALA Joblist, LibGigs Jobs, or HigherEd Jobs.  I know this because I follow those sites and many others via RSS or e-mail alerts.  How is this possible?  Since there are many volunteers who contribute jobs from their regions, those volunteers are able to locate jobs posted to a local or state website, institution website, or listservs that job seekers from another part of the country may not know exist.*  Chances are if a job is posted online somewhere, INALJ has it listed.
  2. Jobs Divided By State:  Sometimes a job seeker might be geographically limited.  The individual might have preexisting obligations, such as family situations, that affect the job search.  Most other places online list the jobs in the order received.  Occasionally, the location is not obvious at a glance.  Dividing the jobs by state, or province for Canada, and country help to immediately narrow results.  For example, I’m from Missouri at a point where within three hours or less I can be in four other states.  With INALJ’s format, I can quickly check and see what those five states offer first.  Essentially, this point boils down to librarians and archivist love organization and INALJ delivers in this regard.
  3. Success Stories:  With the current economic situation, it is easy to feel hopeless about the job search. I’ve fallen into that trap myself.  Besides providing job postings, INALJ provides hope.  Multiple times a day Naomi posts to Facebook and Twitter when someone is lucky enough to find a job.  She also posts series of blogs called “Success Stories” (formerly “..In Six”)  Both remind job seekers there is hope despite the bleak economy and budget cuts.  Additionally the “Success Stories” feature useful tips for job seekers; the subjects of the stories tell how they located their position and  provide their best piece of job hunting advice.
  4. It’s a Community:  INALJ is not just a e-mail digest or website.  It also features Twitter, a Facebook page, and a LinkedIn group.  Facebook and Twitter seem to be more for sharing INALJ content and commenting on it, but LinkedIn features conversations between members.  Anyone can post a question, link, or comment on LinkedIn and someone is sure to reply.  This means if you have a question about job hunting, there is a forum where not only is someone there to help, but there may be a grateful someone who had the same question but was hesitant to ask.

INALJ is all about helping librarians, archivists, and future librarians and archivists find jobs.  As we can see, providing job postings is not the only way the venture does this.  It provides hope and a community for job hunters.  And remember, once you find a job, you don’t have to receive recognition public by Naomi to be a INALJ “success story.”  Finding a job itself is wonderful enough; that alone means you are a “success story.”

*INALJ does list some state and regional websites at the beginning of the listings for each state in the Digest and on the webpage.

Amy C. Nickless is a 2012 LIS graduate from the University of Missouri.  She has served as a graduate reference assistant at Mizzou’s Ellis Library and as a manuscript collection volunteer and intern with The State Historical Society of Missouri.  Currently, she is volunteering to transcribe documents and write website content for a digitization project at Southeast Missouri State University where she obtained a B.A. History (2010) and worked on a special collections-related project.  She’s interested in information literacy, library instruction, reference services, and archival processing and preservation.  She has always wanted a career in library science because she could combine her knowledge; organizing, researching, and teaching skills; and desire to help others.  She writes a blog titled Amy’s Scrap Bag:  A Blog about Libraries, Archives, and History and is on Twitter as @amycnickless.



originally published 12/6/12 and 1/25/13