Why I Became A Librarian

We are celebrating National Library Week, and we asked our NVC librarians why they decided to become librarians. Here are some of their answers:

Why did I decide to become a librarian?

— “I have always enjoyed the written word. I majored in English so I could do a lot of reading and writing. Then I became an English teacher so I could foster a love of reading and writing in my students. I enjoyed teaching students how to appreciate literature and express their ideas effectively. Being a librarian is similar, but now I help students at different stages of the writing process. Now I help students explore their topic and select which aspect interests them most. I help them find and evaluate books, articles, and videos on their topic, and I help them cite their sources. Best of all, I can work in a building full of books and associate with students, faculty and staff who spend much of their time reading and writing. I have a t-shirt featuring this quote from Jorge Luis Borges, which sums things up for me: “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” —  Linda Reeves

— “I grew up going to the library every week – I went to the Landa Library branch, which is a beautiful old house with rooms full of every kind of book imaginable. I would spend hours walking through the stacks looking at anything and everything and being transported to other worlds. In college I would escape to the library to find a quiet place to be, and would sit in the Reading Room in amazement at its vastness. When I finished school and realized I had to get a job (!), I realized that one of the places that made me happiest is the library.  I decided I would become a librarian and help others find out how glorious and inspiring it can be to be able to access every kind of information you can imagine – all from one great place – the library!” – Renata Gibson

— “At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after I graduated. I really loved helping people, learning, math, solving puzzles, instructing people, technology, books, tea, cats, and anything that would keep me on my toes. The answer that put most of those together was being a librarian. I get to “wear a lot of hats,” help people with everything from using a computer to researching nanotechnology, teach, use technology in new/interesting ways, play with numbers, be creative, and interact with a ton of interesting people. As for the tea and cats, I have the internet and a mug.” – Kristin Johnson

— “I became a librarian because I’ve always loved doing research.
In college, I was always the student that stayed until the last minute and “closed” the library. I would always get remarks on my research papers such as “Great resources!”, “Where did you find this information?” and “How were you able to find this resource?”
I know the library profession is stereotyped for being scolding and shushing. When I decided to get my Master of Library and Information Sciences, I was determined that I would never be like the stereotype, but I would always be approachable and encouraging. ” – Judy McMillan

— “There were not many public libraries in Puerto Rico when I was growing up. In fact, I never went to a library until I was in high school. My school librarian, Sra. Medina, was very friendly, knowledgeable and confident. She knew all the answers to our questions. She tried to be a part of every class. All the teachers were always teaming up with her to prepare their classes. There was always something going on at the library. She was very inventive. She hosted book fairs, speakers, poetry competitions, art exhibits, and many other activities. She wanted the library to be a place where students would go for every need. She really enjoyed her work and was very proud to be a librarian. She even formed a club for student library assistants and I decided to join. I have very good memories from that time in my life and it was the beginning of my love for libraries. Once in college, I worked as a student worker at the library in the Technical Services Department and was very impressed with all the duties the librarians performed. They were so eager to help the students, faculty and staff find information, they worked so well together in different tasks, they knew about so many topics. They positioned themselves at the center of the university. They had a mission and were ready to accomplish it. I wanted to be part of that mission and after I finished my bachelor’s degree, I decided to come to the states to get my master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I have been a librarian for many, many years. I really believe that I made the right choice. To this day I am still glad that I chose Librarianship as my profession.” –Norma Vélez-Vendrell

— “I became a librarian by accident. Growing up in rural Ohio, our Friday night ritual was a trip to town for groceries and a stop at the library. While I looked forward to those visits to the library (and also the bookmobile that visited our small elementary school), I never thought about becoming a librarian. I really stumbled into the profession while in college. A summer class I signed up for did not make and the only class available was one listed under Library Science. I really enjoyed it and went on to take enough classes so that I graduated with a minor in Library Science. I was not able to get my MLIS until many years later but that background helped me get jobs in Air Force libraries as my family moved with my husband’s new assignments.” — Karen Weiskittel

— “To start, becoming a librarian was not on my radar when I graduated from UTSA in 2005. Don’t get me wrong, I love libraries, having visited them as a kid (I remember wooden card catalogs!) and as a student. However, at the time I had a B.A. in Anthropology and was working at the Center for Archaeological Research at UTSA as a Lab Technician.  I loved working with the artifacts and records housed in the warehouse.  You never knew what you would find opening old site boxes:  pot shards, a shoe or bone.  Then would begin the hunt to match written records to artifacts, so you could give items an identity. But I knew I wanted to continue my education.  A history professor suggested I look into Library Science since I loved to research archived records and even arranged for me to meet several librarians to discuss the field of librarianship.  Three years later I joined the Masters of Library Science Degree program at Texas Woman’s University, where I graduated in 2010.   Since then I have worked at NVC as a Reference Librarian working with instructors to teach critical thinking skills, building our collection of knowledge here on campus, and, most importantly, helping students find their own information.”  — Amanda Gorrell


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