I have always had an interest in working in a library. As a child, I assumed that librarians spent most of their time reading books, which seemed like the best thing ever. As an adult now working in a library, I know now that librarians don’t get nearly enough free time to read! However, that same childhood love of libraries has carried my through to pursuing a full-time career in librarianship.
It was about 6 months into my first library job that I decided to go to library school and pursue a Masters in Library and Information Science. I didn’t have a particular emphasis in mind, as I’ve always had a wide range of interests—something reflected in my previous work experience as a public library assistant, academic library aide, and elementary school library media technician. I enjoy developing programs, building collections, weeding collections, answering reference questions, scanning historical documents, helping students do research, teaching technology to seniors, etc. etc. Because of my varied interests, I ended up taking a lot of different kinds of classes at SJSU, from technology to teaching to archival work. At the same time, I did a lot of different work experience, as I moved from the children’s department to the adult department and back again, supplementing with local history work.
This combination of library school and library work experience has been extremely beneficial to me, as it helped me more deeply understand the intricacies of librarianship—and helped me get my first professional Librarian job this past June. And surprise! I’m now a Children and Teens Services Librarian! However, I still deeply loved the work I did in my archival classes at SJSU, and so I’d like to incorporate some of that into my work in the future as well.
At the beginning of the semester, I was totally unsure how to begin writing my portfolio. I had the outline, I had my evidence, but I wasn’t sure how to tie them together and turn them into something that would prove my mastery. To be honest, I didn’t feel all that masterful. I’ve been working in libraries for the last five years, and as a librarian (or library assistant) for the last three, but it’s only after having completed my portfolio that I’ve realized just how far I’ve come in my career. Not only have I actually learned a lot, but I’ve learned it well enough to be a Master at it! It’s a wonderful accomplishment, and I’m so happy I did it.
I’d like to thank my mother for encouraging my love of books and libraries as a child, my third grade teacher for letting me read books under my desk when I was done with classwork, my coworkers at my first post-undergrad library job for encouraging me to apply for grad school, my current coworkers for supporting me during the stress of final papers and presentations over the last three years, and my dad for listening patiently during my rants about library services. And thank you for reading this!