Jennifer Ho …Success Story

All Jobs for INALJ can be found here: Updated daily
Naomi House’s interview with success story Jennifer.

Naomi:  How did you find your current job?
Jennifer:  In my Google Reader account, I had subscriptions to dozens of job feeds, in addition to looking at INALJ most days of the week. Each time I applied to a job, I customized my cover letter and resume to that specific job. It was exhausting but well worth the effort! In the end, I got my dream job. I would have been lucky and happy to get any librarian position, but what I really wanted was a lone-arranger-type archives position so that I could do a little bit of everything archives-related.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Jennifer:  I absolutely love the main branch of the Seattle Public Library. The architecture is striking, and inside, for a large part of the stacks, the floors wind up and around, so you can go from floor to floor without getting on the elevator or the stairs! I love it. In the World Languages section, the floor is imprinted in raised letters of languages from all over the world. It is beautiful. They also have storytime for adults! Most importantly, though, the staff members are very friendly.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Jennifer:  The Color of Water, by James McBride. I first read it for a high school paper and have loved it ever since. I find myself returning to it again and again. Other favorites include The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Jennifer:   I love digital collections of everything from maps to photos to love letters to government documents. There is so much available online now. I especially enjoy looking at old newspapers and seeing the layout and design of the advertisements.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Jennifer:  My favorite job sites were ArchivesGig and the job board on the SAA (Society of American Archivists) website. Like many other job-seekers, I appreciated That Elusive Archives Job blog ( For some varied archives-related reading, I like:

Digitization 101 (,

Archiving Matt (,

The Smithsonian Institution Archives blog (,

The Mount Archives blog (

Derangement and Description (

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Jennifer:  Get an internship. You absolutely must have practical, hands-on experience. My supervisor says she chose me because I had a good mix of archives experience in addition to traditional library experience and customer service skills. Also, if you can, be geographically flexible. I applied to jobs all over the country and was willing to relocate anywhere. Not everybody can have this flexibility, but I think it had a lot to do with why I was able to get a full-time job within six months of graduation.

Networking is essential. As an introvert, I have a lot of trouble with networking, but you need to feel the fear and do it anyway! Experience and education are important, but it is also crucial to get out there and meet people – everyone has something to give, including you.

Jennifer Ho is Archives Librarian at University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL. She graduated from San Jose State University in December 2012. During graduate school, she gained experience at the San Diego History Center, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and the Medical and General Libraries of the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

As a new transplant to the Chicago area, she is stocking up on blankets, puppies and sweaters in order to brave the forthcoming snow and wind. In warmer weather, she enjoys exploring the city and finding desserts to eat.