Tuesday, April 1, 2014
All the librarians I follow on Twitter are sharing their story of how / why they became a librarian. I tweeted that becoming a librarian was the best mix of books, technology and working with kids. But.. my story is really a little more than that.
I LOVE books. I have always LOVED books and I will probably LOVE books (the paper ones the most) until the day I die.
When I was little my mom stayed home with my sister and I. When my sister entered kindergarten she went back to work as a teacher. (I paid attention to what my mom did for a living even at a young age.) I remember my mom taking my sister and I to the library A LOT when we were kids. We always participated in the summer reading programs and always read more than what was expected to get our prizes. Our local library began in 1974, the year I was born, in two portable classroom "trailers". The children's librarian was name Pat Chandler and she was wonderful. I wanted to be just like her. My sister and I did all kinds of activities at the Bloomingdale Public Library. It was our happy place.
I loved the idea of the library so much that my neighbor, Lisa, and I started our very own library in her dad's garage one summer. He helped us make some shelves. Then Lisa and I collected all of the books that we weren't reading anymore and placed them in our library. We had fun checking out books to the younger patrons on our street that summer.
My first summer job was at the Bloomingdale Public Library. I was a Page, and I LOVED working in the library. In my family, I was only allowed to work in the summer. My job during the school year was to go to school. The following summer I was not able to get my job as a Page back because someone who was able to work year round snatched it away from me.
I finished high school and went to college to be a teacher. Remember, I paid attention to my mother growing up. I knew that I wanted to be a mom, so I needed a job that I liked that gave me the life I wanted. I knew that I wouldn't be able to be a full time mom, so being a teacher was the next best thing... a job I loved and the ability to raise my kiddo. I spent 9 years in the classroom teaching Early Childhood, Kindergarten, and Second Grade.
During my last two years in Second Grade I began working on my Masters in Technology in Education. I loved really integrating tech into my lessons. Even as far back as 2006, I knew that I wouldn't leave my school. I LOVE my school, but I wanted more than the classroom had to offer. However, I knew that I would never be a Tech Specialist because my district doesn't have Tech Specialists assigned to one building at the elementary level. So... I started soul searching... what could I do? What could I do??
Just as I was finishing my Masters, our Librarian was retiring. I JUMPED at the opportunity! What better job to have in the school I loved? The best of all my loves... books, technology, and kids. Since I wasn't a certified Librarian, I was given two years to complete my Endorsement in Library Science. I loved my library classes. I think of all the classes I took, and have taken, my library classes were the ones I worked the hardest in and they were the most FUN I had in school. The minute I stepped in the JRT Library for the first time as the Library Media Director, I knew I was home! Full circle, first job in the library, last job in the library. I don't think I will ever leave the library. I LOVE my job.
I branded myself "Erin the Librarian"about two years ago during a book signing. I went through a divorce and learned that not everything is permanent. I had a hard time looking at old books with my old name in them. When I walked up to Al Yankovic, I asked him to sign my book to "Erin the Librarian" because my first name was not going to change and I LOVE being a Librarian. It was the first time I called myself that. He smiled and that was it,=... I had become the new me! Sure, I am a lot more than a Librarian, I'm also a techie, but "Erin the Librarian" sounds really cute!
On a side note, it is really hard as a librarian when you kiddo doesn't like reading. What?? A Librarian's kid doesn't like reading? My son would listen to me read at bedtime and he liked listening to me read. I'm great at changing my voice for different characters. Anyone want to hire me to read a book on tape? That would be my next dream come true. However, when it came to him reading it was a struggle. He would read what was required but not a second longer. We set a timer and FORCED him to read. However, since I'm pretty good at my job if I do say so myself, I kept pushing and trying new things with him. As many wise people say, there is no kid that HATES reading, they just haven't found the right fit. My new husband is a FANTASY reader, so he suggested we try Deltora Quest. Thank you Emily Rodda. It was his "just right" genre. From that moment on he couldn't devour enough FANTASY. From Rodda, to Mull, to Riodian. The kid can't stop reading. And.. the moment his school district went BYOT and I could load books on his iPhone he was in HEAVEN!!Now this Librarian is a happy momma.
So that is my story.