So I am reading Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas. It is a really good book and Scott writes it with a true skill to laugh at all of the annoying and stupid things that a librarian can experience. The thing that struck me is that he discussed his path from a kid who likes books and libraries to a librarian. Therefore, I will be following his lead and will discuss my journey until this point on this blog.
My journey actually starts back in ninth grade. I, like many others in the library and archives fields I am an avid reader. (So I fit the stereotype, what can you do?) As a kid, I never thought of going into libraries in a professional sense, I always thought that I would be a writer or teacher. Ironically enough, in a small sense as a librarian/digital librarian/archivist I am sure that I will be writing and teaching, in small measure at least, quite often.
So, anyway, back to what made me want to go to library school. So I was in ninth grade, and a family friend came for a weekend visit. She started talking about her job and despite all of those who say that librarians do not read, she told me that she was reading an article for work. I immediately stopped her with the amazed question, “You get paid to read!?” She informed me that she does indeed. Part of her job as a corporate librarian is to read articles that talk about the company that she works for. So obviously, she is reading specific material, but she is still being paid to read.
After that, I knew what I wanted to do. It helped that one of the reference librarians at my local public library made such a great impression on me. George always went above and beyond. He was a good friend of mine, and I loved going to the library every week and seeing his face light up when he saw me.
So you get what I mean, here is one of the stories of how George helped me that I still remember so well even though it has been several years since then. I was looking for a movie about a gifted child who struggles with the complications and demands that go along with a seven year old child genius making his way through life. I had forgotten the title and was trying to describe it (I pretty much said what I wrote here, with a few added details). None of the librarians were able to help me and George was not able to help either. I went home disappointed. To my surprise, I received a phone call the next day from George. He was calling to tell me that he found out the name of the movie and it was indeed the movie that I had been looking for, Little Man Tate.
George helped me find library schools as I graduated high school. I was very sad that he retired and moved to Florida a year later. But he had started me on the track and given me the practical information that I needed to make my dream a reality.