No one in particular has asked that I share this post, but I wanted to anyways. Some people who follow this blog already are librarians, but many people aren’t. I know handful of my readers are MLIS students or those who are just now beginning their journey into higher ed. A lot of you guys just really love books. If you want further thought's on becoming a librarian, check out Abby Librarian's So You Want to Go to Library School? post.
I’m writing this post on the off chance that it helps someone who is considering becoming a librarian. While I know hard work is partially what got me to where I am today, I feel privileged. I love my job and I love the people in my field, whether it’s my own co-workers or friends I talk to on Twitter. I truly believe in what I do every day and am excited about all of the opportunities that come with my job and being professionally involved with other librarians.
Of course, if I filled out every detail of how I got to where I am today in one post, it’d be awfully long. I’ve decided that a handful of posts would be more appropriate. If you’ve ever wondered what type of experience it takes for a person to wind up buying books for a collection or behind a circulation desk, this may clarify some things. That said, my experience is not the same experience that other librarians have had. It’s just how I got where I am, so take it with a grain of salt.
I’ve rambled on and on about how I’ve been a reader since I was a child and why I read young adult books. Thanks for sitting through all of that, by the way. When seventh grade me was told that there was going to be a shadow day where I was to follow someone in the profession of my choice all day, I immediately chose the public library. Our teachers said it would be preferable if we did the shadow day in pairs, so I roped my best friend into as well. We got to take the day off school and spend it checking in library books and observing storytimes. Essentially, it was a dream come true for my seventh grade self.
I’m sure you guys can imagine what happened after that. Throughout my middle school and high school career the possibility of being a librarian always remained, but I continued taking other classes and participating in sports such as cross-country. When I went off to college, I quickly became an English major. I always knew I wanted to be one, but taking a really great class the fall of my freshman year with a professor who I still talk to merely affirmed my desire. So I signed up for classes every semester, picking English classes that looked awesome and then just trying to fulfill my distribution requirements. Of course, by my senior year of college, the time to face a big question had come: what in the heck was I going to do with the rest of my life?
I have many wonderful memories from my senior year of college of spending time with friends and just trying to get through everything together. I always felt incredibly busy and like I didn’t have time to research the options for my future. I also spent a good chunk of the year in a long distance relationship that was going downhill and ended in the spring. It was stressful but good. Earlier that year, my advisor told me about Etsy, and one of the sellers I purchased from a few times encouraged me to join Twitter, where I immediately connected with lots of book bloggers. A good deal of my time was spent reading other blogs as well as young adult books. One day I was telling one of my friends about this plan and she suggested that I become a teen librarian. I realized that this was a great idea. Unfortunately, by the time I figured this out, it was too late for me to apply to graduate school.
I graduated. Over spring break I had met with someone from my local historical society to discusss the possibility of volunteering, because I wanted to see what it was like to work in that type of setting. That did wind up working out, and I also had the chance to volunteer at my local library and humane society. I’d like to discuss those in further detail, though, so I think that should wait until a future post.
So that’s how I decided to be a librarian. Stay tuned because next time, I’ll be talking about what my graduate school application process was like and how I gained work experience along the way.