Tired of getting kicked around by libraries? Are you intrigued by the myriad of possibilities for using your degree? Want an alternative LIS career? Today we are featuring the site for you! Kim Dority was kind enough to talk to us about her blog, Infonista.
What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!
Infonista is a blog that focuses on all the different ways LIS professionals can deploy their information skills, in both traditional and nontraditional environments. In addition, I try to bring in information from outside the profession that may be relevant to building a resilient LIS career.
When was it started? Why was it started?
It was started in June 2010 as a way to extend the reach of a course I’d been teaching in the University of Denver MLIS program – I wanted more students (and LIS practitioners) to understand how incredibly valuable their skill sets could be if they took a broader approach to information work.
Who runs it?
I (Kim Dority) run it, but I have to admit (with embarrassment) that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of my blog recently due to other commitments, e.g., creating and managing the LinkedIn LIS Career Options group and finishing off a recently published book, LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career (Libraries Unlimited, 2013). My goal for this year is to be a much more diligent blogger!
Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?
I don’t necessarily consider myself a “career expert,” but more of someone who’s done nearly every type of LIS work in her career and who has researched and taught courses, webinars, and workshops on this topic for 13 years. During that time I’ve had the extreme good fortune to learn from hundreds of colleagues, students, friends, and even mentors, so I consider myself more of a conduit for and aggregator of all the stuff we’re learning from each other.
Who is your target audience?
LIS students and professionals, especially those trying to explore or navigate into broader career opportunities that will use their information skills.
What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?
I’d say noodle around. All of the posts are tagged by a specific category, so if users are interested in a specific topic, they should be able find all the posts on that topic. My goal is to post weekly, although as I mentioned, that’s currently aspirational rather than reality!
Does your site provide:
√ Interviews √ Answers to reader questions
√ Articles/literature √ Links
√ Research √ Coaching
√ The opportunity for interaction
√ Other: emerging types of LIS career paths and how to explore/position for them
Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?
√ Book(s): Rethinking Information Work (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), LIS Career Sourcebook (Libraries Unlimited, 2012)
√ Other: LIS career webinars and workshops for MLIS programs and LIS associations, divisions, and chapters
Do you charge for anything on your site?
Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?
I’ve actually never tracked this information so have no idea!
Anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?
Hmmm…. I think I’d encourage your readers to think as broadly and creatively about the application of their LIS skills as possible in order to find jobs, and then continue to keep an eye out for “alternative uses” even after landing those jobs. Given this economy, I believe it’s really important to operate as if we’re all self-employed, regardless of where we happen to be working at any given point in our careers. My goal is to help LIS students and professional create resilient careers, which often means rethinking what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for.