The Library Routes Project: How Did You Become A Librarian?


The idea is to document either or both of your library roots - how you got into the profession in the first place, and what made you decide to do so - and your library routes - the career path which has taken you to wherever you are today. As well as being interesting of itself, it will also provide much needed information and context for those just entering the profession or wishing to do so.


Oh...back in 1974 (the dark ages of libraries)...I was 19 years old and my (then) finance's mother was in charge of a small (like minuscule) library. She kept telling me that she had a job for me and I kept telling her: "Mom, I'm TOO COOL, to work in a Library!" Famous last words! I (finally) earned my MLIS back in 2007.

So here I am 35 years later.....Thursday I received my 30 year (f.t.) Service Award, a beautiful Lucite desk set...two gold pens, my name, and the County Seal.

I'm 54 now...soon to be 55 and I have 5-6 more years until I can retire @ 80+%. I'd leave now, but 54% doesn't get it in today's all ya'll out there in Liberry Land get to have me around for a couple of more years!


I started working at the public library in high school because my best friend was working there. It was definitely not "cool", and I never considered that as a full-time job after college. Well, I got another part-time job at the county library after college where I supervised circulation clerks. I moved on to the academic library setting to supervise student assistants and decided to get my MLS online through Drexel so I could still keep working full-time. My goal is to be a Circulation/Access Services Manager some day. While I realize this position doesn't normally require the MLS, I think I'll be bringing a lot to the table by having it. In the mean time, I work on digitization projects and researching innovative ideas for our library to implement.

I was a creative writing major in college. When I graduated into the "real world", I found myself stuck working as a temp in various office jobs to pay the bills. I was miserable and knew cubicle work was not for me. Whenever I would search the want ads in the newspaper for a permanent job I found myself drawn to library positions. This was something I had never thought to do before. However, whenever I applied for a position even a circulation job, I could not even get an interview. I tried for a couple years. One day after moving with my parents to Florida and dreading having to get yet another temp job, my mother happened to drive by a library with a help wanted sign at the road for an assistant in circulation. The job was only part-time and paid only minimum wage. I applied anyway to get my foot and the door and got the job. After a couple years in circulation I was transferred to the reference department and made full time. The Friends of the Library at this branch also paid for my classes to get my MLIS and I graduated a few years later. I took mostly online classes while working full-time. This was great because by the time I graduated I also had years of reference, programming and other library experience which gave me an advantage over most recent graduates in the job market. I have had two different Librarian jobs since and now work in a great community branch of a public library system in North Carolina. I am an Adult Services Librarian and love it.

Ever since I was a child visiting the big old public library with my dad, I thought it would be wonderful to be surrounded by books all day long. That thought eventually got pushed to the back of my mind as I reached high school and I realized that there really couldn't be that many librarian jobs out there, so if I wanted to be gainfully employed.... So, I got my degree in elementary education and taught in middle schools for about 8 years. When I was pregnant with my second child, I happened to find a flier for an online program through Mansfield University and realized that this might be my chance to accomplish that childhood dream. I began the program while on maternity leave, and the rest is history. When I was about halfway through the program, the high school librarian in my district announced she was going to retire, just about when I would finish my coursework. I was able to arrange the rest of my courses to allow me to complete my practicum with her. I was able to complete my Masters completely online, while continuing to teach full-time and caring for my family, and am now in my first-year as the high school librarian in the district where I have taught for the last ten years. I couldn't have completed the program without having the online option, and I think that my teaching background has added a great deal to my success as a librarian. It seems that even as a young child, I knew what would eventually make me happy, because I do love being in the library!

Hi everyone - just to clarify that the Project homepage ( links out to all the various blog posts on this subject, so the idea is that you write a blog on it and then add the URL to the Wiki. For those of you without a blog, you can just create a page on the Wiki itself and link to that - it's all explained on the homepage...

So, feel free to reply here, but don't forget to put it on the project wiki too!


- thewikiman

1. Something related to public service.
2. Not sure what else to do.
3. More chicks than dudes.

Subscribe to Comments for "The Library Routes Project: How Did You Become A Librarian?"