“If you love children and you love books, the library is the place for you.” These words convinced me to get an endorsement in Library Science. These words led me to the best place in a school.
I was an undergrad student majoring in Early Childhood Education and taking a Children’s Literature course when a wise middle school librarian said these words to me. I went back to school the next week and declared a minor: Library Science.
My teaching career started in the library, but as much as I loved the job I kept thinking there were other teaching jobs I wanted. I left the library when I got married and took a job teaching preschool special education…then went back to the library. I decided to get a masters degree in Elementary Teaching and left the library to teach 5th grade…then went back to the library. I learned my lesson. The next time I was ready for a change I moved from the elementary library to a middle school library. The next step was a high school library. Of the three levels, which is my favorite? Whichever level I am in at the time. I truly loved them all.
The common denominator for all of my favorite jobs was the library and the magic it holds. One time someone compared my job to that of a grandmother. My children were still in preschool, so after getting over being slightly offended, I heard his explanation: “You don’t care what the kids do before they come in your door. You love them, give them what they want, and when you are ready for them to leave you send them back to their class.” Bingo!
To me, the library is the ultimate teaching position. As a librarian I got to teach every child in the school. I got to work with every teacher. My job was never boring and no two days were ever the same. For those of us who like variety (and maybe some chaos) the ever-changing library environment is energizing. You never know who will walk through the doors and you never know how your words or actions might impact someone in your library world.
I now have the privilege of working as a library educator. I get to teach people to love the job I loved so much for so many years. What an honor!
Recently a young man in his 20s who lives down the street told my husband how much he loved coming into my library when he was in elementary school. His class would beg me to read Dogzilla, by Dav Pilkey every week. Over ten years later, this young man still remembered that book and his time in the library. Reading that silly book over and over again was a small thing to me but became one of his fondest childhood memories.
That is why I do what I do. I love children and I love books and I want others to experience the joy.