Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Road To Librarianship is Paved With Books (Thing 10)

At least, mine was.

This week CPD23 is covering Routes to Librarianship. Their post is covering the steps that are mostly required over in the UK, and I find it interesting. The formal accreditation and chartership that they have seems to lean more towards the tenure-building that (fewer and fewer) academic librarians do. While I know that there are numerous continuing education experiences for librarians all over the US, I think that not requiring them, and not ensuring that all librarians have the opportunities, shows a lack on our parts.

I am a book lover and hoarder. I read voraciously and quickly. I prefer to read for fun, however I have added a lot of non-fiction to my personal collection as my interests in gardening, knitting and cooking grow. I remember being in my elementary school library all the time. I knew where the books I loved to read (I am a re-reader) where shelved and I can still picture those places in my head. I had the opportunity to actually work in the library when I was in sixth grade, and remember writing names and stamping due dates on cards. My high school library was a similar retreat for me, and browsing the paperbacks was a pastime. I was at the local library almost every weekend. I wondered what the people behind the desks did, but they always helped me.

My path to becoming a librarian began formally in 2001 when I decided to go back to school for my Master's degree. I was employed in local government, but was not sure it was really what I wanted to do. I was originally going to pursue math education, however my undergraduate was not in that field and I would have needed far more courses. I discovered the Library Science degree at the University at Albany (NY), took one course I paid for out-of-pocket, and fell in love. At the time I was going to pursue Library Media, as I figured that being on a similar schedule as my children would be beneficial, but my introverted number-pushing self came to the forefront and I ended up with a general degree with an emphasis on cataloging. We were required to have one session of internship, which I did in the acquisitions department at the university.

After acquiring my degree in 2003, I job hopped from an archival summer job at the Chautauqua Institution to landing a job in western MA as a cataloger at a public library. The library I started in was unique as being one of the few that still used Cutter Expansive. I moved laterally to another cataloging and acquisitions job and for a couple more years worked within public libraries, then into digital projects at the automation network. Here was where I developed a lot more web design and coding skills, and now supervise the department that deals with the public and digital catalogs and websites for our network. I still get to dip my hand a bit into collection development with our OverDrive collection, as I am the main selector for several genres.

I enjoy my work. There is always something new, although I am finding I really enjoy the ebook collection, both in acquisitions and in training. It is a fascinating and growing topic. I would like to write and present more. I co-authored a chapter on our digital repository a year ago, plus presented for the Digital Commonwealth conference, and of course blogging on librarianship and book topics are a given.

My work is not static, nor do I expect it to be.

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