by Rachael Altman, Head Editor, INALJ Illinois
Meet Loranne Nasir, Member Support & Social Media Librarian at LibraryThing
Loranne Nasir earned her M.L.I.S. from the iSchool at Syracuse University in 2013. She recently joined the team at LibraryThing in Portland, Maine. She previously attended University of Chicago where she earned a B.A. in English Language & Literature. Aside from being an awesome librarian, Loranne also enjoys fencing, trivia, photography, and playing Mass Effect.
Rachael: Favorite library you have been to?
Loranne: My old stomping grounds: the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library
Rachael: Favorite book?
Loranne: The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Rachael: Favorite thing about libraries/library technologies?
Loranne: Libraries, for me, have always been a place of both sanctuary and discovery. For anything I wanted to know, any project I needed help with, libraries (and the librarians who run them) over the years have always been there for me. I got into the business because I wanted to help connect people with the information and resources that they need, because that’s been my experience of what libraries do.
Rachael: If you could take any of your hobbies and create a job of it or integrate it into your job, what would it be? And how?
Loranne: Last spring I took an awesome class in Information Visualization. My classmates and I made some pretty excellent graphics, and it was tough, but lots of fun. I’d love to continue to expand the skills I picked up, and make some infographics for LibraryThing! Fortunately, we already have a lot of interesting statistics that I could potentially work with, so I hope to make this a reality in the not-so-distant future.
Rachael: How did you land your current job?
Loranne: A combination of sheer dumb luck and paying a lot of attention to job postings. I was a rather new LibraryThing member, so I would have seen it through their newsletter, as well, but I first found out about this one through a friend posting it on our Syracuse Library Students Facebook group.
I had a really good feeling about it the whole way through the application process, from reading the job description, to writing my cover letter, and interviewing. It just felt like a great fit, and seemed like the kind of thing I would be good at. I had to try to keep myself from counting my chickens and getting too excited about it before I even had the offer.
Rachael: What’s it like transitioning from student to professional?
Loranne: It’s both awesome and kind of sad. I no longer have a built-in support network of libschool friends, and I feel a bit disconnected from all the interesting and new things going on in libraryland–probably in in no small part due to my not working in a physical library. I have to work more at staying in the loop.
That said, it’s also kind of freeing. I actually made it through, and it was difficult, and now I can do anything! I like having some amount of free time again. And unlike the time when school was my job, I don’t feel guilty for every second I don’t spend working. I love my job, but I can set it aside sometimes and go for a walk!
Rachael: Best piece of job/career-hunting advice?
Loranne: Be patient, be specific, and give yourself a mental break sometimes. Which boils down to: 1) You might not find your dream job right away, and this is okay; 2) Be a little selective–apply to jobs that you think you’d actually succeed in and enjoy, not just every job out there, because you’re feeling the pressure of unemployment; 3) Job hunting is exhausting, and burnout is a real thing. Give yourself permission to not think about it every so often. I found a lot of useful advice (and encouragement) through reading askamanager.org basically every day.