Jade Koekoe is a librarian and Online Presence Specialist who offers aspiring information professionals career coaching and advice on social media through her business Misskoko the Librarian. She has spoken at the ALIA New Librarian Symposium and numerous ALIA SNGG related events. Jade offers a range of services and resources at her website.
Can you tell readers about your journey into librarianship?
Around 2012 I found myself with time and the brain space to consider changing careers, I’ve always had a passion for reading and used to dream about working in a library or owning my own book store. So, I studied a Bachelor of Arts (Librarianship and Corporate Information Management) through Curtin University. I found this degree really helpful as I learned not only how to become a librarian, but an archivist and records manager too. My degree also allowed me to fully explore how each role differed and what the day-to-day looks like for each. But as I am prone to do, (choosing something that wasn’t really an option to begin with) I also did an internship at Melbourne Museum and found that Museums are the place to be, because ALL the information management skills I was learning could be put to good use there.
Alongside your career as a librarian you also run a business Misskoko the Librarian as an online presence specialist and career coach. Can you tell readers a bit about your business and the kind of resources you provide?
Of course! This is another habit I have; trying to find a way to use all my skills to help people. My first career was in graphic design, where I designed and developed websites, print promotions and the occasional online promotion (back in the early 2000s there wasn’t as much digital marketing as there is now). I worked for other design studios and then became a freelance designer, and developed my skills in digital marketing.
Enter my career as a librarian. I was lucky enough to find myself in libraries, where I was gaining knowledge of the job application process and giving more and more people advice on how to use their social media accounts for job hunting. That’s when I realised that my skills had suddenly married into the perfect mix of digital marketing, online networking, graphic design and helping librarians. So I rebranded my freelance design business to Misskoko the Librarian as an Online Presence Specialist who can help you to look good online.
I help libraries by assisting with the development of social media policies and procedures, creating content calendars for any social media, blogs, YouTube channel or newsletters they have. Or if they would like to train existing staff to be experts, I can get them trained up on any social media platform required.
I also have a YouTube channel – Misskoko the Librarian, where I talk about everything to do with your online presence. Make sure to check it out if you are thinking of working with me!
Where would you recommend starting, for people visiting your website for the first time?
If you are wondering how I can help you, or if I am the right fit for your needs, I would suggest starting with my YouTube channel – Misskoko the Librarian. Have a flick through the Job Hunters and Be a Better Networker playlists. I’m all about sharing knowledge and if you just need a little extra confidence for the application you’ve been working on, then watching those playlists may be all you need to tweak your application to perfection.
I have a YouTube channel so that I can help as many people as I can. Working one-on-one as I do, means I have limited time in the day and can’t always get to everyone. I also hope that my YouTube channel convinces people that I am the one to go to if they really really really want to nail an application – or that I can help if they get stuck career wise.
And when you do want to get in touch, you can direct message me on any social media @misskokolib or fill in the contact form on my website.
How integral is having a professional online presence in the recruitment process, and what are your top tips?
Oh now you’re speaking my language, I could talk about this topic all day! It hasn’t become necessary yet, but I have noticed it can reflect poorly on you if you don’t have something online. Also it depends on the type of role you are going for, if you are applying for Digital Manager at ACMI (a museum in Victoria that looks at screen culture) it would seem odd if you didn’t have at least your own online portfolio.
So my advice to job hunters is to, at a minimum, have a LinkedIn account. If you really dislike being online then you can just use it as an online resume. But if you are really powering through the hunt then you can also use LinkedIn to find jobs for you. I cover how you can do that in my video LinkedIn Job Search for Job Hunters. I also advise all librarians to get on Twitter because there is a wealth of informal learning networks you can dive into for our GLAMR (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Records Management) industry. To get started you should join the Twitter chats #AusLibChat #MuseumChat and #CodeNewbie when they are on.
How would you describe your own online presence?
A place where you can find answers; bubbly and bright yellow! When I was rebranding myself to Misskoko the Librarian I wanted my online presence to show that I value open knowledge sharing and lifelong learning, and that I am curious, always up for a conversation, and thoughtful. All of which reflect the personality of my business, but of myself as well. So please, if you do stop by any of my online homes, strike up a conversation, you’d make my day!
What is the best piece of advice you have for GLAMR students and new professionals?
Don’t wait until you have almost finished your degree to network with people in the industry. Librarianship is a small industry and it gets to a point where everyone knows everyone else. So if that is the case, don’t you think it would be prudent to get your name out there? Talk to industry professionals, learn about their experiences in the industry. Another thing, librarians are a really helpful bunch. If you show a genuine interest in learning an aspect of the industry when chatting with other librarians, you may just find yourself back of house in their library getting firsthand knowledge of whatever your interest is.
It isn’t easy putting yourself out there, but the first year or so of awkwardness you may feel is definitely worth it because the rewards are industry experience, friends, and a network of professionals who have your back.
You can view more content from Jade here: