Wednesday, January 04, 2017

How I Became a Librarian

I grew up in a family of readers. My parents read every day and we always had books in the home. Some of my best childhood memories are of curling up in a corner of my grandmother's guest bedroom reading books she had acquired over her years as a kindergarten teacher. In high school, my first job was working at our small town's used bookstore. I loved coming to work and seeing what new books came in and what titles people were buying. I spent more of my paycheck than I care to admit on books from the store. On top of all of this, my father is a librarian. I've always looked up to his positive outlook on books, reading, and learning. I loved how he always seemed to know information about things and, if he didn't, he tracked that information down.

When I was in college, I got a part-time job as a shelver and circulation assistant at my university's main library. It gave me "fun" money but it also started to show me how a library operates. The summer between my sophomore and junior years, I was a Senate intern on Capitol Hill and working at the library part-time. As much as I enjoyed interning, the best lesson that I learned was that I loved working at the library more. I went to college thinking I wanted to work in politics (possibly as a press secretary or in a communications department.) Three months on the hill taught me that my real passion lied elsewhere. That was the summer I decided I would look into becoming a librarian professionally.

My senior year, I lucked out. There was a full-time job opening in our library's technical services department. I also discovered that if I worked full-time, the University would pay for my Masters in Library Science if I was a part-time student. That sealed the deal for me. It took three years (and two different positions in the library), but I graduated with my degree in Library and Information Science. As luck would have it, the library I was working at underwent a reorganization, and I acquired a full-time, professional librarian position.

I have since worked in both Access Services and Technical services. I currently work as the Head of Preservation, but I also run our library's social media accounts and am the liaison librarian for our drama and media studies departments. If you asked me ten years ago where I thought my life would go, I would not have foreseen this future for myself. That said, I'm so very glad I've chosen this path. I'm a planner by nature, but I love that most of days include a lot of variety to keep my mind active. I also love that I get to be creative and funny while helping people with their research and work. I love the whole ecosystem of the library and how it helps to met patron needs.

Being a librarian, for me, is both a job and a lifestyle. It's in my blood and it's my passion.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

No comments: