By Naomi House, MLIS
Positivity and Enthusiasm for the win is what it stands for and something I strive for daily in my work with INALJ, my consulting work and in presentations and panels. Personally I have lived the depression of job hunting without success and through INALJ I have met many more job hunters who have had little to no success. It is a brutal and hard reality for many librarians and information professionals; because of this from the beginning I insisted on making INALJ (formerly I need a Library job) a positive and safe space for job hunters. All criticism is to be constructive and personal attacks will get people blocked. This is not because I am secretly a Care Bear in human form, or unrealistic, but because success won’t thrive or happen without that type of outlook. Employers get a sense of our attitudes as well when we interview and can sense whether we feel we have the potential to succeed. I hope that the environment I have created gives this spark of potential to current job seekers.
One key boost to my own career has been through my sharing and celebrating the wins of others. I believe in sharing good news, important world events, fundraisers, you name it, with my followers. From the beginning I was drawn to the community of people working in libraries and beyond and their successes feel like something I should celebrate as a community member. Enthusiasm for others has translated into enthusiasm for me and what I am doing. I am not a scholar in the field, that is not my calling, but I love that through my platform I can share LIS scholarship with future LIS scholars and connect the larger community.
I was unsure what I would do for my life’s work. I didn’t always know I would be in the LIS field. I went to Film school for a year, then two different community colleges (best choice Ever as I learned so much in both!) studying TV production and then Liberal Arts, followed by a BA in History. By the time I began my final two years of my undergrad degree I had already been working my first library job at a special library. I admired my librarian mentors, all of whom were members of SLA, and knew right then that LIS work in all its varied applications was a career I would pursue. I still believe someday I will direct a film and I have also moved from working in a library to working with them, but that is the beauty of our work. We work inside, outside and all around because information professionals are needed in every field!
And no matter what I will continue to be enthusiastic about the field and people in it and positive about our place in other fields. We can’t be successful if we cannot envision each other as pieces of the larger success. That is why positivity and enthusiasm FTW are as much a calling for me as a call to those I serve.
Naomi is the founder, editor and publisher of INALJ.com and a former federal reference, marketing and acquisitions librarian.