Sunday, August 22, 2010

Library training offers chance at new career

I have relied upon libraries my entire life, beginning with the Napa County branch library in my hometown of Calistoga. My mother arranged for my first library card and brought me at least once every week to my local library.

Some of my happiest hours were spent at the library after school, stretched out in a giant bean­bag chair reading “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.

My elementary and high school libraries were additional resources that I made steady use of throughout my K­12 career. A high ­point of senior English class was taking a trip with my class to the Sonoma State University library to research my senior paper.

I enjoyed working for one too­-brief semester doing book repair in the SSU library. I would happily have continued working there, but the person who supervised me told me there was no longer money to continue employing me.

As I progressed through my education and eventually entered the workforce, I continued my habit of relying upon libraries. I have owned a library card for every community within which I have lived or worked.

Whether it’s the latest book in Erin Hunter’s “Warriors” series or the MLA writers’ handbook, the library is frequently the first place that I turn. I am passionate about getting information in the hands of people who need it and the library is most often the resource where I recommend that they go.

Each week when I volunteer by pulling hold requests at the Lake County Library, I get a sense of the broad range of knowledge that library clients are accessing.

Even though I work full-­time as an editor and columnist for two Northern California newspapers (the Clear Lake Observer American and the Lake County Record­-Bee), I have always believed that I would enjoy working in a library. I volunteer administering a lending library for my local church and also spend 90 minutes each Saturday pulling hold requests at the public library.

Returning to school for certification and possibly even an AS degree in Library and Information Science seems an ideal chance to broaden my employable skills and maybe even begin a new career.

Composed for Cuesta College’s LIBT 101, Introduction to Library Services

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