Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Brilliant Career

I've been tagged with a meme! Some library-related bloggers are posting about how they came to be librarians and, as is customary with a meme, other bloggers are asked to comment, too.

I came to the libraries after almost 20 years as a television news photographer. There were days when it was the coolest job in the world, but the hours were long and erratic and I was looking for a job that challenged me more. My wife, a school librarian, showed me an announcement in a library journal about the Independent Study Degree Program for the MLS at Syracuse University. It was a challenge alright! I was brand new to the library world and scrambled to remember how to do research papers. But I enjoyed the work, my classmates and my instructors. I graduated in 3 years and was hired by AskERIC, the online question-answering service of the ERIC Clearinghouse at Syracuse. After 2 years there, I became the Electronic Services Librarian at SU's Law School. However, this wasn't a good fit for me. Fortunately, I was soon hired as Computer Literacy Librarian at Liverpool Public Library. This really is the coolest job in the world. I staff the reference desk 10 - 12 hours a week and I'm responsible for many of the computer-related programs offered here. Liverpool has a reputation as forward-thinking and tech savvy, and the administration is very supportive of experimenting with new technologies. Not only that, I live 2 blocks from the library so it's an easy commute and I can go home for lunch and check on our dogs. Just livin' the dream!

This whole saga would have been easier if I'd just paid attention to the results of an aptitude test I took in 12th grade. It recommended that I was well-suited to be a librarian. But that didn't sound interesting to me, so I had a long and colorful college career trying to find something to major in. Finally I landed in the department of film at Penn State. It was great to fun to make movies and critique them. When I graduated, I did some stringing, then got a staff position at a small station in my hometown of Altoona, PA. This led to a year in a documentary film unit at WSPX, the public station at Penn State, then onto the NBC affiliate in Albany, NY. The rest is history.


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