I just encountered the “Library Routes Project“, started in October, 2009, to document how librarians came to the profession. In reading through some of the entries, it strikes me that my story is not unique – many of us came to the profession almost accidentally, at the recommendation of a friend or family member or through a serendipitous discovery of a magazine article about librarianship.
My short story is that my dad suggested it.
Have you thought about library school? You should really look into it.
As usual with his pieces of advice, I ignored him for a few years before finally coming to the conclusion that he was absolutely spot-on.
When my dad first mentioned the idea, I was working as a geology lab instructor. I had finished a graduate degree in geology (from Kent State University) in 2001, and I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted to go from there. I knew I didn’t want to be a lab instructor for the duration – I wanted a career that had opportunities for advancement and the opportunity to try new things. Neither was a part of my lab instructor position. I explored a lot of options: a degree in environmental engineering? a PhD in Geography? a PhD in Geology?
A question from a student in one of my lab courses brought me back to my dad’s advice.
I have this printout here, but I can’t find the rest of the article.
The student had found a citation from GeoRef, but didn’t have the knowledge or skills to connect the citation with the full text of the journal article. We talked about it, and he seemed surprised to learn that there were bound journals over in the library.
I started researching ways to help my students with their research skills, and came across the concept of “information literacy“.
I realized that, as a librarian, I could help students in this way.
I started library school in 2005 and started working at my current position a few years later.
My job as a science librarian combined my love of research, my massive curiosity and my interest in educating college students. As a science librarian, I get to be closely connected to scientific research and help students along their path to becoming scientists.