Sabrina Holley-Williams …Success Story

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

sabrinahwNaomi:  How did you find your current job?
Sabrina:  After 11 years in the same job, my position was eliminated as part of a University-wide restructuring (along with 25% of the law library staff, almost all of whom had 10+ years experience). I started looking and applying for jobs within an hour of walking out the door, determined to turn panic and hurt into something positive. I found INALJ and subscribed to the email list. I also searched all the traditional venues I had always used (Simmons GSLIS Jobline, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and ALA Joblist). In August I interviewed and was hired for my current position, which happened to be an opening I only saw on INALJ.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Sabrina:  The Boston Public Library is notable for its grandeur, commitment to public service, and truly unique hidden corners, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the library at my alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. Funny enough, I didn’t use it much for studying, or anything leading to being a librarian, but I always found respite there.

Naomi:  Favorite book?
Sabrina:  The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Sabrina:  By nature I’m a perpetual dabbler. I’m more inclined to learn as much as I can about a lot of things than to focus extensively on one topic. So I feel like being a librarian is the perfect career. You don’t need to know everything, and in fact you need to be totally comfortable admitting that. Instead you need a love of seeking.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Sabrina:  Because I got thrown into the middle of the copyright jungle without a compass in my previous job, I became very interested in the subject, so of course I follow Kevin Smith’s Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog:

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sabrina:  Be open minded about possibility. On paper the job I have now wasn’t something I would normally jump at, but I applied anyway. When I got the first call from the recruiter I was the final candidate for another job and focused solely on that, but decided I shouldn’t put all my energies in that one proverbial basket, so I took the interview. It was the most naturally comfortable interview I’ve had and I knew right away it was a good fit. I’m several months into my new job, and had a revelation a short while ago, that for the first time ever I can actually say I love my job. I was comfortable and happy enough in my previous job. But I’m finding out how much more there is than that.

I’m currently the Director for the Region 1 Library of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (as a contractor for ASRC Primus) in Boston, MA. It’s a solo librarian position where I get to do a little bit of everything, but thanks to the wonderful patrons of the EPA, and the collaboration of the EPA Library Network, it’s never lonely. Prior to that, I worked in academic libraries for 12 years. My spouse and I live in central Massachusetts with 4 Great Danes, and spend most of our spare time at dog shows, or just corralling them. Occasionally I putter at the idea of getting a casual photography business off the ground, and this summer during my transition period I taught myself how to knit.