Tara D. Kelley …Specialist II, Mikhail Baryshnikov Collection at NYPL

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

Naomi House’s interview with success story Tara.

tarakNaomi:  How did you find your current job?
Tara:  In October 2011, I was looking for a position and there was an excellent opportunity to intern with the Reserve Film and Video Collection at the Library for the Performing Arts. I began working with RFVC after I returned from Pordenone, surveying, viewing, and cataloging films and working on a number of special projects for the department.

I set up a series of job alerts at various websites, including Indeed.com. This posting – under ‘preservation jobs’ – arrived via Indeed in early August 2012. Since I’d previously created an online profile at NYPL, I simply used their website to apply for the Specialist II position.

Clearly, I was fortunate to connect with the New York Public Library. However, as NYPL is an institution with multiple branches and departments, that job alert certainly helped.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Tara:  My first: the Emma S. Clark Library. Emma S. Clark is in a beautiful, historic building in Setauket, NY. I spent many hours there from childhood through my teens and truly appreciate their incredible staff and amazing collection.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Tara:  It’s as hard for me to come up with a favorite book as it is to decide upon a favorite film: there are just so many excellent choices. I just finished Vachel Lindsay’s The Art of the Moving Picture and continue to steadily work my way through LPA’s shelves of film books.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Tara:  I love the fact that the library is an egalitarian common space – and I have immense respect for librarians, who continuously advocate for public access to resources.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Tara:  INALJ, of course!

Also, I think Archives Gig is an excellent website.

If you’re looking for government work – including LOC, NARA, and the Smithsonian – the Google group for Careers in Federal Libraries is a great resource.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Tara:  If you can, intern or volunteer. There’s no question this helped immeasurably in terms of gaining vital experience and creating meaningful personal connections. The ideal internship will enable you to become an active contributor.

My current title is Specialist II, Mikhail Baryshnikov Collection, Special Formats Processing-AV, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. I am a 2011 graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at George Eastman House and the recipient of their fellowship to the 2011 Pordenone Silent Film Festival. I have an MLIS, awarded by Rutgers University in 2009, and an MA granted by Stony Brook University in 2004. My background is in film production and secondary education.


All Jobs for INALJ can be found here: http://inalj.com/?p=1441 Updated daily


Previously published on 1/14/13, and formerly entitled Tara D. Kelley …Success Story