Paths to Librarian-ness

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Paths to Librarian-ness

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Jun 4, 2008, 9:37pm

I was just wondering what got people interested in being librarians and how they were going about getting there. I personally got a job as a page because I loved books, then discovered everything that goes into a library and couldn't help myself. I'm a communications major right now, and have a couple years before applying to grad schools. I hope to get into grad school at U of Michigan (proximity) and then get a job in a public library of small to medium size. What about you guys?

Jun 5, 2008, 3:41pm

I'm like you -- a library job started the process for me, too. I started working in the rare book department of my university library after finishing an MA in art history, and found that it suited me very well. I worked there almost three years, then my husband's job required a long distance move. By happy coincidence, the university here has a great library school! I started the program part-time in January. And I now work in another library-related job, but not in rare books. But as a longer-term career goal, I'm interested in getting back into rare books, special collections, possibly an art library...

Jun 5, 2008, 8:43pm

I'm coming back to librarianship after a decade away from it. My first professional employment was as a solo corporate librarian. Jack of all trades does not even begin to describe it! I had a blast, and so impressed my boss and colleagues that first they gave me an assistant to do the clerical stuff so I could do in-depth research (like competitor intelligence and patent analysis), but then they "promoted" me...but to a non-librarian position more directly related to my degree in chemistry. Most of my career has been chemistry oriented: product development, process design, quality assurance, regulatory affairs/compliance. I work for a medical device manufacturer right now. I've been good at these things because solid research skills will serve well in any field. I find answers quickly, and if at all possible while staying reliable, I find them free! Truth told, I seriously considered going back to grad school for psychology, since that's most of my pleasure reading, but there's something invigorating about the thrill of the chase in corporate/technical librarianship, so I'm going back to school (nights at first) to get my MLS. I begin UNC in the fall and will work toward an MLS with a bioinformatics specialization.

Jun 24, 2008, 6:18pm

Hey all! This is such an interesting group to see on LT. I'm actually going to be starting my 3rd year of law school this fall (graduate in May), and then I think I'm off to get an MLS. Two years of law school has taught me that though I find areas of the law fascinating, being a lawyer is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. However, I've been having a blast working in the law library this last year. The reference librarians and the director of the law library have suggested that I look into law librarianship, and I find the concept pretty interesting. (They are emphasizing the University of Texas as the school to go to for my MLS, but I haven't decided yet.) I've been a reader and lover of libraries all my life (double majored undergrad in history and spanish), so really this isn't much of a stretch for me. While I have no formal training in computers or electronics of any kind, I spend a lot of my free time online and I'm very interested in how technology is transforming information access.

Ago 12, 2008, 8:27pm

This is so great that everyone here has such diverse backgrounds! I'm very excited to be starting at Drexel in the fall. For the last ten years I've been working as database administrator on Wall Street (DBA). I thought about library school at least two others times in my life and decided I wanted to get out of pure IT to pursue this passion I have for research and information. I majored in French in college and grew up bilingual and hope to use that skill in future jobs.

Set 18, 2008, 8:15pm

I have no working experience in any type of library, which makes me somewhat unusual, at least in the program that I am in. My interest stems from a life-long interest in special collections, museums, and books in general, although I am told that this is something that should not be openly admitted when looking for a position. My focus is archives, special collections, or even museum work, preferably in a photographic setting of some sort.

I have worked in the technology field for over 20 years and have had 'tech burnout' for some time and, coincidentally, the librarians who I often chat with (in person) kept telling me that I would be a great fit in a library, so here I am. From what I have learned from my own research as well as what I have been exposed to in this program (Univ. of South Florida) the library setting seems like a great match for what I am looking for in a working environment.

Set 18, 2008, 11:48pm

reellis67, you might want to check this out: Smithsonian has plans to digitize its collection. If they can manage to fund it, this sounds right up your alley:

the story

Out 22, 2008, 12:08pm

Thanks for the link! I've been watching that project for a little while now. Many libraries are digitizing their collections, but the results vary greatly. It should be interesting to see how the Smithsonian's project turns out.

Out 24, 2008, 2:28pm

Hi all,

I am from Finland, so the schooling system is quite different compared to the US system. I'm second year sudent in our program and when I graduate I'll be a bachelor in library and information services. That means that I am qualified librarian here in Finland.

I had an other profession, but when I decided I wanted to study do something else and go back to school, I looked into many different possibilities. I didn't choose the librarianship before I found an article about a woman working as a librarian and descriping what her work included. When I read the article I realised that her job included all that I would want my job include! So I checked out where in Finland you can get library education (and what kind of) and applied to few school. Now I study in Turku university of applied sciences and loving my studies and the profession more and more every day.

Ofcourse there was some background why I got so interested in librarianship. I have allways loved books and reading and have been a heavy user of libraries. I have also realised that I have somewhat natural talent in cataloguing. But as sayd, I had never worked in a library before I started studying! Thats why I'm quite glad that we had our first internship period last spring. Now I know that I also love working in a library!

Out 24, 2008, 2:40pm

I am retired and got a part time job as librarian for a well known school of cartooning. I am having a blast. I have plans to upgrade and update the library here. All of the volumns here are related to art, graphics, cartooning, anatomy, etc.

I self-taught LibraryThing and found it to be intuitive and easy to navigate. It seems to be a perfect fit for our needs.