I started working in libraries by accident. It was never a career that had crossed my mind. I grew up in a small town that didn’t have a library, so I never spent much time at the library. I wanted to be an elementary teacher. After college, I moved to Aurora, Colorado. I worked as a paraprofessional for Denver Public Schools for a year, then began applying for teaching jobs. I sent out dozens of applications with very little response. Feeling defeated, I started looking for other jobs. I saw an opening at the public library and applied there as a backup. I finally landed an interview for a 3rd grade teaching position. The same day, I was called to interview for the library assistant position. I interviewed at the school one day, the library the next. A day later, I was offered the library job. (I was later informed that they chose someone with experience for the teaching job.)
As I learned the library assistant job, I realized that it had the fun parts of teaching (helping people, research, teaching classes) without the bad parts of teaching (politics, standardized tests, angry parents, disciplining a classroom of 35+ kids). I worked there for almost two years before I moved to a new city and a new job. As an assistant librarian in the young adult department of a suburban library, I discovered my passion for programming, outreach, and marketing, as well as working with teens.
I moved back to my home state of Nebraska after almost three years working in YA. I’m now a part-time library assistant for Lincoln City Libraries. Working at a branch library means doing a little bit of everything. However, working part-time means I miss out on doing special projects and programs.
From 2009 to 2010, I worked on my MLS online through Clarion University. I graduated last December. Now I’m looking for that elusive full-time professional position. I would love to work in youth services and do programming and outreach. But with tight budgets all around, library positions are few and far between. In a year and a half, changes will take place in my personal life that will allow me the flexibility to move. In the meantime, I will continue to work as a library assistant and participate in professional development activities to keep my skills sharp and my options open.