Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Do You Librarian?

 One of my mother's favorite stories is from when I was two or three, and she called to me from a different room, "Anna, what are you doing?" and I replied, "I just organizing, Mama." Some of my earliest memories are of sorting my crayons and toys. I guess you could say I've always been a fan of order and access.

A life-long library and bookmobile kid, I first became intrigued with working at a library while at the Menasha Public Library in Wisconsin (my home library--my grandparents were huge library supporters and served on the Library Board). I couldn't find the nonfiction title I was searching for in the adult section (I was obsessed with the Time Life books series, "Enchanted World") so I enlisted the help of a librarian, but she couldn't find it either. And that's when she said it, "I guess we'll have to have the library detectives look for it."

I was all, excuse me, did you say LIBRARY DETECTIVES?!

And then I never thought about it again, as you do when you're ten. 

When I started college, I parlayed my love of organization and attention to detail into a position at the college library. I worked in the serials department, and I loved it, but moved on to bigger and better things as college progressed (needing money is so pedestrian).

Eventually, trying to find direction for my life, I decided to go back to libraries. I enrolled in library school and got a position working in a special library. Based of my love of and demonstrated talent for organizing people and procedures, I was headed down a library management track until I rediscovered my first love: children's and YA literature.

And here I am! How did you come to libraries as a profession?


  1. I remember playing organizing games too! Several librarians in my office remember the same. I think we are wired for this work!

  2. I wasn't an organizer as a child (actually, I'm still the most laid back person on my team in that regard), but I was a voracious reader. That love for words morphed into a passion for writing and I aspired to be a journalist for something like National Geographic. Then I interned for a local magazine, witnessed firsthand how miserable your more average journalist can be on a daily basis, and decided, you know...that I should be happy?

    At the end of undergrad, I started looking for ways to combine my love of books with my love of serving people and after talking to my local public librarians, I was certain it would be the best move for me. I came into working with children because I wanted to be creative and inspired by peers. They never let me down. ;)

  3. I love hearing how people become librarians! Here is a letter I wrote to my daughters explaining how I did. http://hipmombrarian.com/2013/07/25/how-i-became-a-librarian/

  4. I'm sorry. Did you say something? I'm all OTTER GIFSSSSSSSSSS now.

  5. Hahaha Anne, I was mesmerized by the otter too!

  6. I grew up neck-deep in literature (Dad's a retired English Prof), and I haunted all the local libraries. But I was dense and didn't see what I was supposed to be doing. Then our local library director advertised for a children's librarian. I went to talk to her about it and she said, "I was hoping you would ask," and hired me. She saw something in me, I guess, because I'm still doing it 22 years later.

  7. I started doing reader's advisory and cataloging my personal collection when I was about 12 so...no exciting story here. I have the soul of a librarian.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...