Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Beginnings, New Inspiration

Time to dust off this blog and start posting again!  The blog originally began as a means of recording my experience as a library intern during graduate school.  I included my own musings as well as abstracts of articles I found in related literature.  The fact that internship participants were required to keep a journal with the number of entries dependent upon the credit hours is neither here nor there.  I had a lot of fun with it, and with blogging in general, so I have decided to continue.

I graduated from the Indiana University School of Library and Information Science in May 2010.  My experience and interests lie with the public sector of libraries.  I love libraries in general, but I am most drawn to the public library and its use as a public space for community-building and learning.  Maybe it is the anthropologist in me, but I love talking to and meeting new people from a variety of backgrounds.  The chance to engage others and possibly offer tidbits of information or transform a life only ups the ante for serious career fulfillment.  So after working with the wonderfully dedicated staff at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana as an intern for a year I was hooked.

After the term of my job ended I started the job search.  I had a bit of wiggle room so I decided to only apply for jobs in places that I really wanted to live.  That meant becoming an avid user of the Pacific Northwest Library Association Joblist along with sponsored by the Colorado State Library.  Anyone who has ever devoted all or even some of their time to applying for jobs knows how time-consuming it is.  Some applications can take days to complete if you are thinking things through, and some require additional essays and projects for completion in order to be considered.  After rejections from some prospective employers and utter silence from others I began to apply for jobs outside of libraries as a safety net.

The hard work spent preparing an application packet paid off and I obtained a job interview with the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I visit Colorado frequently but seeing as there aren't any ski mountains in the Springs I hadn't been here yet!  Despite comments I had heard about the conservatism of the city, I really liked the first 24 or so hours I spent here.  The mountains are beautiful and the city is a city without being huge.  It is definitely smaller than my hometown of Indianapolis, but I rather like the small-town feel and the cozy neighborhoods.  When I was offered the job I deliberated over the distance from my family and friends and essentially decided that you only live once so you should live where you want to!  And now I'm a Children's Librarian.  Full-fledged, nametag and everything.       
This is my journey.  I've traveled so far, and yet have so far to go.  I would like to offer up this blog as proof that librarians and libraries are an important part of society.  The library as an institution is something that we should all be proud and willing to contribute to.  With the help of librarians and other child educators we can work to close the achievement gap that seems to be widening at an increasing rate.  Despite that depressing fact, I am more than excited about my job working with children in the library.  Finally I will be able to use my Spanish!  Like, a lot!  Maybe my experience as a budding children's librarian living in a new city, new state, can bolster the spirits and experiences of other librarians and bibliophiles alike.  Maybe this will just be a sounding board to keep track of ideas and projects.  Regardless, I will use this space to write about my experiences, successes, failures, suggestions, and anything else that seems pertinent to the world of children's librarians or others that work with children.  I will try to continually update with blogs and other information I find that I think is particularly interesting.  I encourage sharing and collaboration.  We are all in this together.