Library roots, routes, and routines

Considering that this is the last official week of CPD23 and I am sill about eight things behind, I’m going to go ahead and skip around a little. It’s somewhat out of character for me to deviate from sequential order, but right now it feels more important for me to regain some momentum with this project. And what better way to get another thing under my belt than to tackle something I’ve basically already written? That’s right. Thing 20 is about library careers, with special focus on the Library Day in the Life and Library Roots/Routes projects.

Don't you wish you could see a day in the life of this library route?

I participated in my first round of Library Day in the Life right here on this blog in July 2011. I had fun documenting my week, even if it wasn’t 100% library-related. I’d like to think that my posts are an example of the diversity of opportunities available in our profession. I know many librarians are unemployed or under-employed these days, so I hope at least some of you can relate to my experiences with making the most of a part-time library experience. I look forward to contributing to future rounds of Library Day in the Life, hopefully with a little more library activity next time!

I also wrote about my Library Roots/Routes for Thing 10. It took me forever to find the words for that post, and I’m not really going to try to elaborate on it now. Instead, I’ll try to reflect on a theme I noticed when reading other posts before and after publishing my story. The one thing most of us seem to have in common is that we never expected to be a librarian when we grew up. It was simply not something we thought about as a child or young adult, no matter how much we might have loved books. I wonder if this is is because we encounter so few librarians in our day-to-day lives. I remember a couple of librarians from the children’s department at my hometown public library, and I can almost visualize my elementary school librarian. But for all I knew as a kid, these were the only librarians around, which would not make librarianship seem like a career with realistic job prospects. I realize there’s still room for debate on that last part, but I think we’d all agree that there are more than three librarian jobs in the world. Not only that, there are many other types of library jobs outside the children’s department and the school media center. I guess we just tend to learn about the other professional possibilities by chance encounters. I definitely had never thought about special libraries or corporate libraries before stumbling into my job, and now I think that’s the likely direction of my career.

The Library Day in the Life and Library Roots/Routes projects are truly inspirational, as they demonstrate the power of online collaboration as well as the strengths of our diverse professional ranks. Whether or not we originally intended to become librarians, it seems that most of us truly feel as if we’ve found our calling.

Image credit: Crossett Library Bennington College

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