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How I Became a Librarian

Anna at Future Librarian Superhero and Amy at Show Me Librarian both recently posted about their path to librarianship-and invited others to do the same. Here's how I became a librarian.


(The front page of one of my favorite books from childhood)

Although I didn't realize it as a child, I was born to be a librarian. My first word was "book." I had my favorite book, Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff, memorized at age two and would "read" it aloud with all the correctly timed page turns. I played library as a child and checked out books to my stuffed animals and imaginary library patrons. Reading Rainbow was my favorite TV Show and I would practice giving my very own book talks in case I ever appeared on the show-"but you don't have to take my word for it!"

I loved reading, I went to the library on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis, but the thought of being a librarian never crossed my mind. In addition to reading, I also loved music and theater and was very involved in the arts all throughout school. At thirteen, I had the chance to be a kid DJ for a kids radio station, Radio Aahs, and my love for radio was born. 

I went to college to study Communications and Radio and my plan was to graduate and become a radio DJ. Then I spent a semester at a special music school on Martha's Vineyard and discovered I loved PR and marketing and I wanted to find a career in music or theater doing promotions. 

Then graduation came and I didn't find a career in any of those fields. Instead I found myself working in customer service at a gourmet food company. After about a year and a half, I wanted a career change, but I didn't know what to look for. I was living in Chicago at the time and there were some publishing companies around as well as the main offices for the American Library Association. My job searches there led me to a website that ALA made called "So You Want To Be a Librarian". I don't know how I came across the website, but I looked at it and read the description of what librarians do and how great a job it was and I thought "that's it! I want to be a librarian!!" I knew that I wanted to work with teens, so the idea of being a teen librarian seemed perfect.

And the rest is history. I moved shortly after that, found a job in a library, and went to grad school for my MLS. When I told my family that I was going to become a librarian, their response was always, "you would be so good at that!" I guess my parents knew long before I did what my perfect career path would be. And I'm so grateful that I've found it because I can't imagine doing any other job.

Comments

  1. I think it's cute that you used to play librarian as a kid. Danny and the Dinosaur was one of my favorite books too.

    I didn't even think about being a librarian until I started working at my college library while studying to be an English teacher. When I decided not to be a teacher I looked into publishing and librarianship and my first job post college was at a public library as a library assistant. It is interesting to see how people find their path to librarianship. I don't think it is one of those careers that people gravitate towards naturally but instead people seem to fall into it!

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    Replies
    1. I think so too Christina! So many people I know just happen upon librarianship along the way and love it. I never thought about working at my public library as a teen and my roommate in college even worked in the library which I thought sounded fun. But I'm kind of glad I didn't have those experiences because I'm not sure if I would have found it a possible career path or not. I'm really glad I discovered youth services! :)

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  2. That was such an interesting path you took! I'm glad your journey brought you back to your first love. There is nothing like a good book!

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  3. My story is similar to Christina's. I always loved libraries as a kid. It was a sanctuary for me but I never thought of it as an actual job because people always seemed happy working in the library. When I found out that there's actually a library school, worked as an assistant, it dawned on me that this is exactly what I wanted to be when I grow up.

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