For Thing 20, we are supposed to participate in the Library Routes Project. I think I covered how and why I got into the library profession pretty well in Thing 10, so I’ll just talk a little bit about the career path I’ve taken so far in the library world.
When I started library school, I had never worked in a library. My first library experience, while I was in library school, was volunteer work shelving books at a public library. During my last semester of library school, I finally got a paid job in a library, working as a reference assistant in an academic library. During most of library school, I didn’t know what type of library I wanted to work in when I finished, or really what type of library work I wanted to be doing, but when I took my cataloging class, I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue, so even though my paid library job was not in cataloging, I found other ways to get experience in that area. I did my practicum (which was required as part of my graduate program) in the technical services department at the same academic library where I worked, and I also volunteered at a local museum, cataloging their library collection.
When I graduated, since I was not able to be very geographically flexible in my job search, I applied for pretty much every librarian job I heard about. Even though I wanted to be a cataloger, I would have taken a job in any area of library work. However, about 4 months after graduation, I was hired for my current job, cataloging librarian at our state library agency, and I’ve been here for three years.
I spent some time looking around at the other entries on the Library Routes wiki. The stories that I read there echo my experiences with librarians I know in real life; most people kind of stumbled into librarianship and didn’t originally intend for it to be their career. Librarianship definitely seems to be a career that not a lot of people think about early in life.