What do you do when your dreams come true?
Since my last blog post, I have become an “accidental librarian”. For those not familiar with the term, an accidental librarian is someone without a Masters degree who is hired as a frontline librarian or Branch manager. Pamela MacKellar does an excellent job writing about this increasing phenomenon in her book The Accidental Librarian (more information is available on her website) http://www.accidentallibrarian.com/
This week, I started my new position as the Branch Manager for the Statham Public Library. I was a Library Assistant for the past year and a half at a slightly larger library, but before that I worked for Borders Books for nearly a decade, with an 18 month stint at FedEx Office/Kinko’s thrown in for good measure. I love books with everything that I am, and that passion shines in everything I do. With my bookstore management experience and the people skills that a career in retail branded into me, there is no doubt in my mind that I can do this job and serve the people of my new community with all the dedication and enthusiasm they deserve.
It is a small public library in a small town, located in a Title I County. Our collection is not huge, nor are our circulation numbers that impressive. But we have heart. We have people who come in and are greeted by name. The outgoing manager, leaving for health reasons, knows who’s who in town, who just had a new baby, and whose kids are graduating next month. She was the library. I am beyond honored that she would entrust me to continue her ten year legacy, because to me, this is what a library should be — the center of a community, a gathering place, “where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came” (sans liquor); a place where people come for knowledge and assistance and leave better than they came.
When I made the financially difficult decision to leave my extremely well-paying job with FedEx Office to take my library assistant position, I was terrified, but also free. I knew I needed to be back around books, however and in whatever capacity I could. I knew that I was entering a competitive field, one where I would need to pay my dues. I have been very fortunate to have an amazing mentor in the Auburn Public Library Branch Manager, and to have worked with some of the best, most creative and collaborative people ever in the staff there. I know I would not have been ready for this position without their love and support. I will pursue my MLS in the future, but I am so excited to be a Branch Manager – an opportunity I did not think would come along for years.
So what do you do when your dreams come true?