Karly Szczepkowski …In Six

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

My interview with the author of INALJ’s Top 10 Job Sites for Librarians & Info Pro’s, Karly

Naomi: What is your dream job and why? And if you could take any of your hobbies and create a job out of them or integrate it into your job what would it be? And how?
Karly: My dream job is one that utilizes my existing skills, provides interaction with people, has opportunities for advancement, has unique challenges, allows me to innovate, and is led by effective and capable leadership. If you couldn’t make it through all the buzzwords, I’ll summarize: my dream job lets me be me and rewards me for it. (Isn’t that everyone’s dream job?)

Hmm… I’m not sure if I want to as I might become so obsessed that I would work 16 hours a day! I’d love to create my own organizational schema or my own analysis strategy and apply it to a real-world issue.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Karly: Without question, it is the research library at the Detroit Institute of Arts. I worked there for three years and I never lost that feeling of awe when I was in the stacks. In addition to the usual monographs on art and photography, it also has a collection of auction catalogs going back to the 1920s and the complete illustrated collection of Napoleon’s books of Egypt. It has books from the 1700s! While I was a student I was writing a research paper on local architect Albert Kahn, who was active in the early 20th century. I went down to the stacks to look through the old architectural journals. The first one I opened was from 1909 and there was a nameplate inside saying, “gift of Albert Kahn.” It was amazing! Here I was researching him, holding a journal that he most likely read!

Sadly, the library is closed to the public. It is open to researchers by appointment.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Karly: I don’t have just one. I read constantly – primarily non-fiction. Currently I’m reading Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy by Joshua M. Birkholz. For fun, I tend to read about the arts, architecture, fashion and film. I’ve read some excellent books about Albert Kahn and Detroit-area architecture, as well as silent film and a biography of Coco Chanel. When it comes to fiction I primarily read short stories, otherwise, I stay up all night! Really, I do. I remember years ago staying up until 4 in the morning and not being able to work the next day. That’s when I made the shift to short stories.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Karly: My favorite thing about libraries is the advances in technology, particularly remote technology, such as the online public access catalog and online inter-library loan request. I love that we can now access library materials outside of the library building (or with just a quick trip to the reference desk to pick up books). It’s a great option for those who, for whatever reason, cannot easily access a library building.

this question added on 4/10/12
Naomi: What blogs/feeds should we be following?
Karly: For prospect research:

For library & information science

For fun:

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Karly: Think outside the “L.” Some people think they can only apply for jobs that start with “L” in a building labeled “L.” But there’s much more to the MLIS then “L” jobs. We have a skillset that can be applied to a diverse range of positions, both inside and outside the “L.” Combine your “L” skills with your other skills – past employment, volunteer work, education, etc. – when applying for positions. And don’t limit yourself to just employers that start with “L.” Expand your job search to museums, non-profits, universities, and yes, corporations.

And make sure you get as much relevant work experience as possible!

Karly Szczepkowski is a Research Analyst for the Division of Development & Alumni Affairs at Wayne State University. She is the 2011 President of the Michigan Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). She received her MLIS from Wayne State University in 2008 and bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1996. Prior to attending library school she worked at a major Detroit-based advertising agency. She is passionate about the Detroit area! In her spare time she makes her own clothes, costumes for a local community theatre, and studies ballet and tap. In 2012 she is looking to expand into creating handbags, studying advanced business topics and mathematics, and attending the SLA 2012 annual conference in Chicago.

Editor’s note: Karly also wrote a fantastic piece for INALJ Top 10 Job Sites for Librarians & Info Pro’s .

reposted from 12/16/11 and 4/10/12

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