Why I am a Librarian

The “Why I’m a Librarian” meme has been going around the library blogosphere, so I thought I would put my two cents in.

Why I Became a Librarian

About a year and a half after I got my bachelor’s degree in business administration, I was struggling to find decent employment and my place in the working world. A very wise man suggested to me that I seek out the services of a career counselor, which I did. After a battery of personality assessment tests, my career counselor went over the results with me. Librarian was one of the top occupations on the list. As surprising as it was to see the word “Librarian” there, the more I thought about it, the more I believed I would enjoy the career. So off to graduate school I went.

After working with the career counselor, I wondered… where was this kind of information and assistance when I was in high school, or early in my college career? Shouldn’t every student be given this kind of help?

Why I am Still a Librarian

After working almost 10 years as a Librarian in a busy and understaffed public library, I was experiencing the signs of job burnout. Following my passion for working on the web, I took some classes and earned a Certificate of WebMastery, with the intent of seeking employment building websites. Right about the time I earned my certificate, the dot-com bubble burst and my prospects of getting paid to work on the web were severely diminished. Over the next several years I did some freelance web work, applied for some full-time web jobs, and even had a few interviews. But the competition from other more experienced web developers was just too great.

Then in 2004 I discovered a job opening for a Web Services Librarian at an academic library, which had responsibilities that would give me the best of both worlds. I applied, interviewed, and got the job. Looking back on it all, I am grateful to have found my niche.

As an aside for anyone considering the field, Librarian is on the U.S. News’ best careers of 2008 list.