How I Got My First Job: Dr. Sarah Clark

How I Got My First Job: Dr. Sarah Clark

Interviewed by Ellen Mehling

EM: What was your first professional position?

SC: I was promoted from a paraprofessional position to Access Services and Distance Learning Librarian at Rogers State University, shortly after I finished my MLIS at the University of Oklahoma.

EM: How did you get it?

SC: I’d like to think most of it was being well known and respected by my library’s leadership, having already worked there for about a year and a half. However, that would have been irrelevant had it not been for a librarian retiring at the same time I finished my degree and opening up a position.

EM: To what do you attribute your job search success?

SC: Having no library experience when I started my degree, I began looking for any full-time library job on the first day of class. I also signed up for an internship with a local archive, which helped me look more attractive on the job market.

EM: What advice do you have for librarian/info-pro job hunters?

SC: Start looking as early as humanly possible. Better yet, get a job in the field before you start your MLIS. I had it ridiculously easy compared to many librarians who came after me (I graduated in 2006), and you need to have a battle plan. No matter how talented you are, there is always an element of luck. However, fortune favors the prepared.

Dr. Sarah Clark is host of Better Library Leaders, a podcast, blog, and Facebook community.

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