Okay, today we are getting a little metaphysical. Yesterday, I was being interviewed by a colleague who is working on an Independent Study to finish up her MLIS. Her topic is very interesting. She is trying to assess the current state of RA education in America (with a detailed look at its history). But in interviewing me, much of our conversation was about where I, as a RA educator, see the future of RA training.
I will have more on her findings to share with you in a few months, but the whole notion of looking at the broader picture, combined with the specific questions she was asking me, made me think back to why I decided to dedicate my career to helping leisure readers.
Until I took the RA class toward the end of library school, I was convinced I would work at an adult reference desk in a public library. I knew that meant I would help leisure readers as well as answer many reference questions, but as we all know now, that changed.
I have dedicated my career to helping leisure readers and to training librarians to be better at providing this service to their patrons. So how did this happen? Well, in thinking about it a lot yesterday, I realized there is a book responsible for tipping the scales and making me seriously consider changing the focus of my entire career.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.
Why did this book change my professional life forever? The answer is actually quite simple. When I read this book for my RA class and was forced to figure out readalikes, I had an epiphany. Cold Mountain was already a bestseller then. It had wide appeal. But when I was reading it with an eye to why people enjoyed it, I realized that there were so many different layers, reasons, and appeal factors that could lead someone in dozens of different directions for readalike options, and it all hit me.
Before that point I found RA interesting, and was excited to do it as part of my reference work, but after reading Cold Mountain, I realized there was enough "meat" to doing RA that I could be happy doing it for my entire career. And look at me now!
So I figured if there was a book that ended up changing the course of my life, there is probably a book for many of you that changed your life either professionally or personally. I mean you work in a library, so there is a probably book that is in some part responsible for this huge life choice.
For today's Monday Discussion, share that book that changed your life.
For past Monday Discussions click here.
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