We're excited to interview Rajni Misra for July's myMETRO Member Spotlight! Rajni just completed a four month internship with METRO supporting the Archives and Library Leadership Network (ALLN), a group of local professional organizations working to build community ties and collaborate on issues of shared concern. It's been great to work with her these past few months!
Rajni received a Master’s degree from Long Island University's Palmer School in 2012. During her coursework, she gained hands-on experience working as a graduate assistant at the campus library and from an internship supporting researchers at a major New York City newspaper. In 2012, Rajni collaborated on a myMETRO researchers project about lifelong learning, which resulted in a paper and annotated bibliography aimed at fostering mutual awareness between libraries and lifelong learning institutes. Rajni continues to participate in the myMETRO Researchers Project in 2013.
1. When did you first join myMETRO?
I first joined in 2011 in order to take advantage of the mock interview benefit. My practice interview with [METRO's Career Services Consultant] Ellen Mehling made the prospect of job hunting much less daunting!
2. Describe your work experience prior to joining the profession. What has been your most rewarding experience as a professional so far?
Prior to joining the library profession, I received a BA in psychology and an MBA in finance and worked in public sector budgeting. Throughout my career, I’ve found volunteering very rewarding. Currently, as a teacher of computer skills, I help people over fifty to feel empowered and less isolated. Hearing their appreciation is wonderfully satisfying.
The work I just completed as an ALLN intern was enlightening and stimulating. I gained experience with Google sites and LibGuides, and benefitted from METRO’s expertise in identifying and supporting the needs of organizations and their members. I was honored to make a contribution to the library profession; it was exciting to learn how ALLN supports member organizations.
3. What drew you to your particular line of work?
I was drawn to librarianship because I feel most fulfilled when helping others directly. I’m also naturally curious about a wide range of subjects and enjoy research. I actually had considered library school after undergraduate school but was dissuaded by unfortunate negative stereotypes of librarians. After several years, I revisited my earlier inclinations and am glad I did. Having come across helpful and not-so-helpful librarians throughout my life, I am dedicated to making a positive impact in the field.
4. Tell us a little about the projects that capture your interests these days (either for yourself or an organization).
Working closely with Tom Nielsen, Member Services Manager at METRO, and consultant Pat Barnett, I developed and updated tools to facilitate collaboration among local library and archive organizations. These include a shared calendar, a member organization liaison chart, and meeting documentation.
With the help of METRO’s link to Lynda.com, I created a Google site for internal access to ALLN information and a publicly accessible LibGuide. After attending several ALLN meetings, I gained insight into the issues important to library and archives organizations and I learned how METRO works to anticipate and meet the needs of its members. The experience was particularly rewarding because Pat and Tom welcomed me as an active member of their team.
5. What are your favorite ways to stay on top of industry trends?
I frequently visit the METRO site, which is chock full of information, stay connected through my library school’s listserv, and participate in workshops and webinars. I joined ALA, SLA, and the Suffolk County Library Association while still a library school student.
6. What do you find most valuable about your myMETRO membership?
Several things! The job search benefits (mock interview, resume review, and job postings), access to Lynda.com and METRO LibGuides, workshops and webinars, and the opportunity to hone my skills and serve the community through the myMETRO Researchers Project. I am currently researching how librarians can help their patrons navigate the Affordable Care Act.
Are you a myMETRO Member? Would you like to be featured in a myMETRO spotlight? Contact Tom Nielsen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.