Friday, August 22, 2008

How did I end up being a librarian? (meme)

Some public schools in the U.S. have already started up for the fall and now many colleges are back in session. To me, school started after Labor Day, so to have school start in August still just seems wrong!

Last night was the reception for the new graduate students in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. A great part of the reception is that all of the faculty -- tenured, tenure-track, full-time, and part-time -- get to introduce themselves. Our dean, Liz Liddy, has us talk briefly about our focus (teaching/research) and give a tip about something to do in the region. Even for the faculty, this is a great way for us to get to know each other.

One question that would also be an interesting ice-breaker, but would take too long for each of us to answer, is what got us interested initially in our fields of interest. This is a question that Laura has asked in her blog and she has "tagged" a few of us in hopes that we'll provide an answer.

My career was profiled in the Sept. 2006 issue of Information Outlook ("For Career Growth, Forget the Label and Recognize the Opportunities"). I began working in libraries in elementary school (5th grade) and continued through college. After a two-year break, I went to graduate school, then into the workforce. My first professional job, however, was in information technology (IT) and I have always done things since then that were a mix of IT and library science.

Did a person get me interested in libraries? No, not that I remember, but my junior and senior high librarian helped me stay interested by putting me to work in the library. Yes, I worked with real card catalogues and things that some current library workers have not seen, and I enjoyed it!

Yeah...that's the super short version of the story. The article gives the longer version. However, here is some trivia:
  • Best library school faculty member when I was getting my degree: Paul F.G. Keller, PhD, University of Maryland
  • Favorite class: Not cataloguing!
  • Best bosses: Paul Keller at Univ. of Maryland, and Dennis Lockard and Gary Roush, Corning Incorporated. Each had different styles, but all believed in empowering their employees.
  • Favorite library: State Library of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA. I used this library in school for researching papers and not the public library. I haven't been in it since college, but I remember it as a wonderful place!
  • Most unexpected career move: Becoming an independent consultant
  • Best career move to date: Becoming an independent consultant
  • Favorite piece of advice to others: Sit upfront at conference keynotes so you can interact with the movers-and-shakers that are in the front rows (e.g., association leadership).
  • Best piece of advice received: Listen.
As is the tradition with a meme, I am tagging:
I look forward to reading their stories!

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