Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Library Story -Part Uno

To promote the field of librarianship, librarians that blog have been asked to tell the story of how they became librarians.  So here you go....

After thinking this over for a few days, I decided that there was not one definitive moment, or experience that made me decide to become a librarian.  I believe I chose this because of my personality and many, many positive, (and perhaps one or two negative), library experiences that culminated in this choice of profession.

My parents took me to the community libraries religiously as a kid. I'm pretty sure that resulted in giving my sisters and I a very positive attitude towards reading and using library services. (They also took us religiously to amusement parks, to the same end result.  I love the coasters!)  In elementary school I would often rush through lunch so that I could spend the rest of the time at the school library.  And, sure, part of it was the books, but the other part was definitely talking to the librarians, who at my elementary school were not scary at all, but genuinely interested in our thoughts about the world.  They were also so cool in getting to know our personalities and recommending books.  I'm pretty sure it was a librarian that sparked my (continued) obsession with Roald Dahl.

In high school I got my first job at the county library as a Page.  I loved timing myself to see how fast I could unload a truck, and when done, those poor librarians had me hanging out at the reference desk asking them all sorts of questions about the material, their lives and their jobs.  They also made the mundane task of shelf reading fun by hiding "prizes" in the stacks.  If you came across a certain bookmark you would win a prize. (For the life of me I can't remember what they may have been!  Candy? Popcorn? A new kitten?)  I loved that job and the people I worked with but, becoming a librarian was certainly not on my radar then.

I traveled to South America (La Paz, Bolivia) to do social work after high school.  When tasked with teaching music theory to a group of street kids, I realized that my limited Spanish vocabulary did not even begin to touch upon music theory vocabulary.  A friend suggested a private library, run by one older and very accommodating librarian.  I was delighted to find that the tiny library actually had a Spanish music theory dictionary. While the collection did not circulate, I was able to spend a few hours on a couple afternoons copying a great deal of the book. That book and librarian saved my class. And even though I now realize my delight in this find, ("find" defined as; library, librarian &  book), may have been more than what most people might feel, it would still not occur to me to pursue librarianship for another 10 years.

Next Week: My Library Story -Part Deux (Which Does Not Occur in any French or Spanish Speaking Countries)

No comments:

Post a Comment