WILL UNWOUND #473 – “The Making of a Librarian…Story Hour at the Unwinders Tavern”June 22, 2011
The comments about education, books, and reading over the past few days have been quite interesting and insightful. New voices are mingling with veteran Unwinder voices and the result is an extraordinary series of discussions. Kudos to you all. In appreciation of your great work, Boris, Maggie, and I have decided that drinks are on the house all week with one caveat. You have to tell us what your favorite drink is.
Oh, wait, there is one more caveat. Having read and re-read all of the many comments I am struck by the interesting diversity of library people we have hanging out in the tavern. Therefore, I thought it would be really interesting to get to know you a bit better. Yes, the Unwinders Tavern is a place where everyone knows your name, but do we really know you…the real you?
So…to qualify for free drinks all week you have to tell us how you happened to get into library work. Were you inspired by another librarian? Did you happen upon the profession randomly? Were you a librarian wannabe from the cradle? You all have a story and we all love stories here in the tavern.
As lead lab rat I will go first. In 1970 I was finishing up a broad liberal arts education that I greatly enjoyed. But I had not a clue of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Then in my senior seminar, where we were paired with a grad school assistant for the purpose of writing our senior thesis (this was a graduation requirement and by the way my topic was “Work and Leisure in the American Utopian Tradition”). The grad assistant assigned to me was a man named James Sweetland. In our meet and greet, I discovered that after he got his PhD in History, he was going to go on and get his MLS so that he could work anywhere in academia (the job market then was wide open!). I had no idea what an MLS was and when he clued me in, I knew immediately what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Two things I loved most were books and people and this is how I envisioned librarianship back in 1970…bringing people and books together. So right after college I went to library school, got my MLS, and then had a choice of 7 jobs. By the way, I loved every minute of library school.
Now I am retired and I can look back with great appreciation that I was able to devote my professional life to the noble cause of building libraries and serving patrons. It was all very random (unless you have a theistic view of the universe, which I do!).
Now it’s your turn, Unwinders. How did you get into library work?
And, Boris, my beverage all week will be an Arnold Palmer. I’ve been playing a lot of golf lately and playing darned well I might add!