I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. I Samuel 1:27

Thursday, November 06, 2008

First Question

Ok guys - you didn't ask me many questions. That either means that you already know everything about me, or you don't think I'm very interesting (and actually, you would be right on that last one!) :)

So, I'm going to answer a question that Mandy asked me.

"How did you decide to become a librarian and what career path have you chosen (cause you don't work in a library, right?)"

I've had a very interesting career road.

In high school I considered being both an accountant and a lawyer. I did mock trial, and although I really liked it, I didn't want to wear suits to work every day. :)

One summer I volunteered at a home for adults with Autism. I LOVED it - and loved the people I worked with. I then decided I wanted to become a special education teacher.

I also worked at our local public library from my sophomore year on. I worked in the children's department, and did the summer reading programs. I really liked working there, but I never knew that being a librarian was a viable career option. All of the people I worked with made minimum wage. No one was a degreed librarian.

So, I got my undergraduate degree in Education of the Handicapped and was certified to teach students with Learning Disabilities, Developmental Handicaps, and Reading K-12. Near the end of my undergrad degree I realized that you could be a career librarian so I started looking into that.

I got my first teaching job within 2 weeks of graduating. I wasn't sure if I was going to want to teach special education for 30 years, so I started looking into my options.

I decided to start working on my Master's in Library Science with a concentration in Children's and Young Adult Literature and School Librarianship. I figured that when I was done in the classroom, I could then just become a school librarian, or I could get out of education totally.

So, within 6 months of finishing my undergrad, I started my graduate degree program. I LOVED my graduate degree work. I knew I had finally found what I was meant to do.

But, I soon found my "plan" of being a children's/school librarian going out the window. Every class I took, from marketing to acquisitions to reference to cataloging to management, got me excited. I didn't know what to do. I talked to my advisor and she just laughed at me and then said, "Kim, you need to go work in a special library. You will have the opportunity to do all of that."

I was going to graduate in the summer of 1998, so I put in my resignation at the school I was teaching in that spring. I then spent that spring/summer looking for a library job.

I found a job at a video production studio in Columbus (where we were living at the time) that summer, which I didn't take as we moved to Kentucky (ok - that's another story for another time).

I was blessed to find a job within 2 weeks of moving to Kentucky. I went to work for the American Printing House for the Blind as a cataloging/reference librarian. I loved this job. APH has a database of books that have been put into braille, large print, and sound recording by various agencies around the country. This gives people who use these resources one place to find the books that they need in the format that they need it in. I cataloged all of these resources, answered reference calls, and maintained the database (including doing some web based database work). It was a great job for me.

But, I didn't see where I would have much room for growth there. So, I then applied for a job at my current employer. They weren't looking for a librarian, but they needed one. (and luckily I was able to convince them that and got the job)

I work for a HR Consulting firm. I was hired to work in their centralized library of salary surveys. Yes, you heard that right. I was surrounded by books that tell our consultants what people should be paid for the job that they are in. I had an opportunity to revamp the library (as it had been mismanaged for a number of years) as well as continue doing database work.

I then was moved into a team leader position and had a staff under me. The library was located within a group at the company that did all of the market pricing for the company. (using the surveys in my library to come up with the market rate for jobs) I soon had a trainer under me and then some market pricers.

I then moved into a team leader position that took me out of the library. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. It was a great opportunity for me, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to let go of my library work.

It was a great decision for me, because it then set me up for the current job that I'm in that I've been blessed to do on a part time basis.

So, I've had a long, interesting road to where I am now. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Vanessa said...

Wow that was quite an adventure to get where you are today!!

Becky said...

How interesting! I've been lurking on your blog for a few months, but felt compelled to comment today. I am a librarian, too, with two Guatemalan kiddos at home. I have worked in a public library for 14 years and loved your story of how your career path has led you to where you are. Thanks for sharing.

Mandy said...

Get out! I thought about being a lawyer too, but hate dressing in corporate suits...LOL. Too funny.

Thanks for sharing your path. I think I would focus on a special library concentration too since thats what I do now. I didnt realize until about 5 years ago that librarians could do other things than work in a typical library setting. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your career path!

Shelby said...

That is very interesting. You aren't boring at all... Thank you for my perfect SBP gift. The bows I ordered should be here any day!!!

terri s said...

WOW! I'm very empressed. What a great career path. But what exactly do you do? Part time? I so wish I could work part time so I could be with the gurlz more.

Oh, and I love your politics. I KNEW we were cousins! :~)

Kelly said...

Wow Kim! I am very impressed with your career path. Sometimes God knows where are meant to be and things do happen for a reason. I am so glad it's all worked out for you.

I couldn't think of anything to ask when you asked us for questions.

margaret said...

I too found that interesting. Thanks for sharing!

Alleen said...

Cool story... I wish sometimes that I had really thought long and hard about what kind of work would have really made me love what I did. I enjoyed the computer programming/database stuff for a while, but I burned out on it. I was just earning a paycheck for many years until I quit.

I wonder when it's time for me to go back to work what the heck I will do since I've only ever done that and the only degree I have is Computer Science.