I am currently involved in a leadership program for my library and recently we were asked to write a short essay regarding what we enjoy the most about our job and in what direction we plan to move within library/information service. This simple question made me reflect on why I chose to pursue the career of librarianship and why it does truly make me happy.
As a young boy the library was a home away from home for me. Allowing me to fill the hours that my father was at work with rich and vivid fantasies of sailing the ocean with pirates in search of lost gold and racing around the world in a hot air balloon. Books weren’t just there for my pleasure, but became something so much more. They were my friends, teachers, and an escape from the world around me. As I grew older I began to understand the full extent of all the amazing things that you could do at the library. Find the answer to almost any question or problem, research where my family came from, and understand things that I hadn’t experienced yet in my own life. The librarians helped me find whatever I was looking for and tried to the best of their abilities to answer any question that I had, no matter how trivial or silly it may have seemed. I always looked up to these men and women because in my mind they knew everything or at least how to find it when they didn’t. I so wanted to be like them and have access to all that information, even when the library moved forward into the age of the internet they still always seemed on top of everything and willing to help in anyway they could. These people planted the seed and over the years others of their kind have cultivated it. I look back fondly at all the memories associated with libraries, public, academic, and music also realizing that these experiences are what helped nudge me into making the decision to be a information professional.
As for how all this makes me happy in my job, I want to be able to do all of the things those librarians did for me, for other people. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone. When the say thank you for all the effort and time you spent with them, words can’t even begin to describe the feeling. As we move forward with technology our job becomes more important than ever. We need to be there to bridge the gap between the digital natives and immigrants, ensuring that each person leaves having learned something and acquired the skills necessary to find the information they were looking for. This is the direction that I plan to take within librarianship, making sure that we are at the forefront of technology and help make sense of all the new sites and tools that are popping up at an alarming rate. Hopefully I will be able to do this and help many people along the way. That’s what sparked me, what sparked you?