by Dawn Thompson, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio
The Unintentional Librarian
When I began the library science program at Kent State University in 2007 I was unsure about my decision to attend a Masters program in library science. My plans hadn’t included attending library school. My plan had been to get an MFA in nonfiction from a graduate school in Virginia to which I had been accepted in 2005. I even looked for apartments in the DC-metro area. Alas, some family issues brought me back here to Ohio and to my second choice, library school. In the library science program I learned not to say, “I am here because I love to read or because I love books”, but because I want to help the public find the information they need. It’s not enough to love books or reading, and it’s more than being able to alphabetize. Becoming a librarian really does take a special kind of person; one who is willing to address a patron inappropriately using the library computers, one who will help a little girl (probably my little girl), find an endless supply of Strawberry Shortcake books, and one who will work with patrons who may not speak the same language to find exactly what it is they need.
But that’s why I love the idea of working in a library. I do love books– I always have. I love to read and learned how before I entered Kindergarten. I spent afternoons and evenings in the Public Library where I lived as a girl, and a teenager, and now as an adult. I am passing on to my children, an appreciation for what a public library means to a community and how libraries can be used to play, explore, learn, smile, laugh, share, and READ. It makes me proud that my daughter can recognize which local branch of our public library we are passing. She also knows which librarian is working on what days. She is only four and already has her favorites, as do many patrons I’m sure. Librarians are an integral part of our communities, and I am proud to be a part of it.