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Freshly Minted – Gillian Nowlan

September 11, 2013

Liaison Librarian, University of Regina

Photo of Gillian NowlanWho are you and what do you do?

My name is Gillian Nowlan and I am currently a Liaison Librarian for the University of Regina.

My duties include information literacy, reference, and collection development for the areas of education, music, and film.

My research interests include mobile technologies and social media in libraries and higher education.

When did you get your MLIS, when did you start your first professional librarian position, how long did the job search take, and how did you prepare yourself for it?

I graduated with my MLIS from Dalhousie University in 2010.

I worked as a contract librarian at the Sexton Library at Dalhousie as I was looking around for more permanent work. From the date that I graduated I spent seven months searching before I landed in the position I currently hold.

The best preparation that helped me apply for jobs was keeping engaged in the field. Either volunteering at libraries or working part-time and contract jobs, keeping up with higher education and academic library blogs, and attending conferences.

How did you do your job search? What were some of the things that worked and didn’t? What was the greatest challenge?

I did a lot of searching on the CLA job web page as well as subscribing to library listservs that often post jobs around Canada and in the United States.

The greatest challenge was being patient. I wanted to start work as soon as I graduated, but if you’re willing to take your time and look around the right job will come about.

Is your work as the professional librarian what you expected and prepared yourself for while you were in the MLS program? Otherwise, what would you have done differently if you knew?

The work I engage in now is similar to what I would have expected when I was completing my MLIS. One thing that surprised me is that I have a lot of freedom to explore areas that I’m interested in such as developing and working with mobile technologies and social media for the library.

Any advice for many MLS students who will be soon graduating and looking for their first professional librarian position?

Stay connected. Try to follow other librarians on twitter, interesting blogs, attend conferences, and just stay engaged in what’s happening in your field.

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