It’s National Library Week and I’m excited to be celebrating as a library professional, not just a student or a fan. I’ve been working at a public library for about five months now and I love it!
I originally went into my MLIS thinking I would end up in archives. That was my goal all along. I still love archives and special collections, but job hunting has shown me those jobs are few and far between. I moved back to Chicago thinking the market would be more robust. There are tons of universities, museums, and private institutions here that have archives. But every job I applied for didn’t work out. I had a couple of interviews (which made me feel great!) but many of them I never heard back from. Or I heard back from them months later saying I didn’t get it. It was frustrating to see that my career goals were halted by the application process, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.
I diversified and started applying for public library jobs. I loved the limited coursework I took about public libraries – specifically readers advisory. And there were so many places in the area looking for part time librarians. I guess people need librarians more than institutions need archivists? I’m happy that I ended up doing this though, as it eventually lead me to my current job.
I’m an avid reader and reviewer so recommending new fiction to people professionally seemed like a dream. And now I get to do it every day! I wouldn’t say my dreams of being an archivist are gone. I would still love to be one in some capacity. But I have realized that working with the public every day is amazing and so much more up my alley. There are always things to do and I’m lucky to work at a place that gives me the freedom to explore programming that aligns with my interests. It’s busy, never-ending work but I’ve found I thrive on it. It’s funny to think that only five years ago I was in a job that I didn’t like, where the best part of my day was walking to the library to pick up some books.
So happy National Library Week from this humble new librarian!