It’s an interesting thing to ponder – how do people become librarians? The Library Routes Project compiles several journeys to the profession. The variety is quite interesting and I think is a good source of information for any prospective LIS student, especially those coming to library school with little or no library experience.
So here’s my little story…
In 2004 I was a student at UC Berkeley, and I spent a semester studying abroad at Georg-August-UniversitÃ¤t GÃ¶ttingen. When I came back to Berkeley to finish up my degree, double major in History and German (minor in Linguistics and Medieval Studies), I needed a job. I probably could have gone back to the job I left at the College of Chemistry, but I wanted something different. I applied to a bank, a Peets, and a library. The library was the first place to get back to me and I was quickly hired. (This all happened within less than a week from my return to the States.) I worked there through my graduation, and then applied to replace the circulation manager when he left to go to grad school. By this point I was sort of thinking of library school, not because I felt a huge desire to be a librarian, but I figured it was alright and a way to avoid the two body problem.
After a year of being circulation manager I was pretty much decided on library school, and enrolled in Drexel’s I-School. Going to school online allowed me to continue working full time. (Nevermind beating breast cancer.) I opted for the dual degree – library science and information systems – because I wanted to have more technical chops. When I got close to graduation from Drexel, I knew I would have to find another job. I started applying to other science and engineering library jobs in the area when my library was able to resurrect an un-filled Librarian position to offer be when I interviewed elsewhere. I realised this is a pretty unique environment with a lot of freedom, so I stayed. In July 2008, I officially became a Transportation Librarian.
It’s been a pretty action packed time and I’m still not entirely sure how I ended up here. I think some of it is inertia, but there’s a lot of luck. This is a great library and the transportation community is quite amazing. I really think special libraries are great. In a small amount of time I feel that I’ve become part of something larger and can really improve a part of society. I’m vain in that I like that.