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Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Discussion: Beginnings

As I enter my final week at the Berwyn Public Library, I thought it would be a good time to have a post about beginnings (endings would be way to cliche and I will not go there).

But seriously, endings are always one of the best times to think about beginnings.  While we are beginning things we do not have time to contemplate their true meaning. Plus, as we approach an ending, a new beginning is just on the horizon.

So for today's Monday Discussion I would love it if people could share their first paid library job with me.  I think it is important for us to all assess where it all began in order to fully understand where we are today and where we need to go in the future.  Too often in our profession, we look forward only.

Not today.  I can't wait to see where it all began for people.

I'll go first.  In the summer of 1997 right after I graduated from college but before I started library school, I got a job as the ILL runner for the library inside a major Chicago law firm (they no longer exist as they were due to mergers). ILL runner meant what it sounds like. I was paid to literally run around Chicago to other law firms and libraries (like the Cook County Law Library and CPL among others) to do research and pick up materials.

Now it's your turn.  Humor me and share your first paid library job.  I am very interested in how our varied pasts combine and manifest themselves in how we serve leisure readers as a community of RA librarians today.

And one last note. While this is my last Monday Discussion as an employee of the Berwyn Public Library, it is not the last Monday Discussion on RA for All. They will continue.

For past Monday Discussions, click here.

7 comments:

John BPL RA said...

I think a lot of people think I'm joking when I tell them I began by working in the children's department, but you know it's true! I actually loved the job itself. People still walk up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed my story time presentations. It's always so strange to see them as adults. What a bizarre thing life is! Good luck to you, Becky! I have worked with a large number of staff members over the years but you are certainly one of my favorite people I've known. I don't know if it is a coincidence (or twist of fate) but as I'm writing this, the woman who first suggested to me that I go into library work all those years ago just now walked up and donated two books - one being a children's book. I hope you come back one day. I'm gonna miss you.

Marion Teen BPL said...

My first library job was as a Page at the Villa Park Public Library in March 2011. I was at that position for five months, then eventually was promoted to Circulation/Outreach Assistant I in September 2011. I was there until December 2014, when I left to become the Teen Services Assistant at the Berwyn Public Library. Even though all my positions were very different from one another, they all helped me to gain familiarity with library collections and to notice the types of materials patrons checked out most.

Abby said...

My first position was as a library assistant at the Center for Disability and Referral, a special library with a disability-related collection at Indiana University. We mailed books all over the state, referred people to services that could assist them in their area, and supported education classes and disability research at the university. I'm a children's librarian at a public library now, but my experience at CeDIR was invaluable and taught me a lot!!

Anonymous said...

I was working as a webmaster for the division at a government research lab. Meanwhile, I volunteered for technical services at the local library and read a lot. When I started having problems with my hands, I decided I needed a career change that didn't involve as much typing. I got a job in circulation at a the library where I volunteered. I was there about two weeks when a position came open at the Readers Advisory desk. Fortunately, both supervisors were very nice about letting me apply, then move, even though I'd barely started with the organization. After 5 years, I got my MLS. But RA is still my passion. Oh, and I type a lot still, even too much. Realized that's a personal thing, not a job thing. :-)

Christi said...

I started as a circulation assistant at the Oak Park Public Library. It was the first in a long string of jobs where people took a chance on me. I'm so grateful I've gotten all the opportunities I have. I remember stumbling through my first RA interactions in that setting, I'm much more adept at it now!

circulatingideas said...

My first paid position was as the Shifting Supervisor at a large research university. My job was to shift the collection around, as needed, as new materials were added. My first big project was rearranging / consolidating an old storage library to make room for newly weeded materials. I enjoyed the job enough that I started library school a few years later!

Cari said...

I started as a shelver at the Middlefield Library in Geauga County when I was fifteen. Very rural, tiny library (it's since moved to a new location and been expanded). I guess I must have liked it :-)