Confession: I’m a library and information professional who has never actually been a library and information professional. Coming out of undergrad, I knew I wanted to get my MLIS, but since I was geographically limited—my husband was getting his JD at the University of Wyoming—I took a few extra steps. I had decided that my future career path would be in academic libraries, and so I worked on getting a subject Master’s degree before I started library school. Fast forward six years later, and I am a well-educated stay-at-home mom, a career that I love.
It turns out that I have become I much more active and engaged library user since my son was born last summer. We regularly attend storytime and check out new books. As I have grown into a different kind of library patron, I’m finding myself wondering if I should be a different kind of librarian from what I had originally planned. While I think academic libraries would provide a challenging and rewarding career, I’m not keen on publishing or working towards tenure. I wouldn’t have believed you a few years ago if you would have told me that I would enjoy children’s programming, but it turns out that I really do. My new long-term career plan involves a school library or a children’s librarian job. What I can’t be certain of, however, is if this new plan will still fit in a few years.
How common is this about-face mentality in librarianship? Have any of you started on one track only to find yourself interested in another? Join the extended discussion on LinkedIn.