Abby Johnson (MLS'06) is the Children's and Outreach Services Manager at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, Indiana. In an email interview, she highlights aspects about her position (see below).
Favorite Job Duties:
My favorite thing about my job is that it's different every day! I love doing baby story-times because the little ones change so much that they've learned something new each time you see them. I love putting in book and media orders and looking at the new books when they arrive. And I love doing outreach because it gives me a little break from being inside the library all the time (plus, kids love it when you visit their classrooms and schools). Plus, I work with a great team of library workers and they make it fun to go to work every day.
I started my blog, Abby the Librarian ( http://www.abbythelibrarian.com) in 2007 as a way to share programs I was doing and great books I was reading with other new librarians like myself. Now I'm not quite so new anymore and I've found that the blog (and accompanying social media) is an excellent way to network. I have made some great friends through the blogosphere and I know that if I need library advice or ideas, I can connect with people online to get them! I feel that blogging has helped me improve my writing skills and my blog's become an online portfolio of the work I've done.
Tips for Students:
The best advice I have for students is to get involved in the area of librarianship that interests you. Do it now, while you're in school, and you'll have a great start. Do an internship, volunteer in a library, work part-time in a library ... but also get involved with professional organizations like ALA and the Indiana Library Federation. Join a committee, post to list-servs, start a blog.
Don't be afraid to reach out to other librarians, whether it's to ask questions or just to say "Hey, I like what you're doing." Librarians are, by and large, helpful people, and I have never met a librarian who was unwilling to share ideas or lend a helping hand. The more relevant experience you have on your resume and the more contacts you make in the library world, the easier your job search may be!
I can't say enough about the internship I completed while I was a SLIS student. I interned at the Monroe County Public Library in the Children's Department, and not only did I get great experience to put on my resume, I made some great friends there as well. My SLIS classes were valuable to me (especially Lokman Meho's reference class!) because I didn't have a background in libraries before attending school, but I'm sure that doing the internship was what made my job applications stand out.
You can find my blog at http://www.abbythelibrarian.com and feel free to follow me on twitter at http://www.abbythelibrarian.com. You can also check out my library's website at http://www.nafclibrary.org.
Posted February 15, 2011