Reading Myself into a Career

Do you remember when you decided what you wanted to be when you grew up? What inspired you to follow that career or life path? For me, I believe the books I read played a big part in my plans for the future.

Nancy Drew and the 3 Investigators helped me develop a love of mysteries and puzzles. Because of this, Police Officer and Private Investigator were high on my list of what I wanted to be. The modern and successful women in my Grandma’s Harlequins made me think that a big city career would be the direction I would go, so I added Lawyer to my possible career choices. Following my interests I earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Communications only to discover that life isn’t as well planned out as fiction.

One thing that didn’t change during my search for a career was my love of a good story. Though different jobs gave me different skills and experiences, it was the books I read that helped me dream. When the opportunity came to work in a Public Library I jumped at the chance to spend my workday surrounded by books. It was this job that showed me that the perfect career for me, included a lot of fiction. While a Librarian’s job does NOT include sitting and reading all day, it does include helping people, providing information, teaching computer and research skills, and talking about books.

So what started as a job 16 years ago, became a career that I love. While the majority of my work days are filled with tasks that don’t revolve around books, it is the books that I enjoy most. Now when I see a book about a library or librarian I have to give it a try, because after all this is my career I’m reading about! Here are some of my favorites.

Free for All: oddballs, geeks and gangstas in the public library, by Don Bochert. The author recounts his experiences working as an assistant librarian in a public librabooksry in suburban Los Angeles, as he encounters patrons who range from bored latchkey kids left there for the afternoon, to rowdy teenagers.

I Work at a Public Library, by Gina Sheridan. Collection of strange-but-true anecdotes, heartwarming stories, and humorous interactions with patrons from a public librarian.

Open Season, by Linda Howard. Daisy Minor is bored. Worse than that, she’s boring. A plain, small-town librarian, she’s got a wardrobe as sexy as a dictionary and hasn’t been on a date in years. She’s never even had a lukewarm love affair, let alone a hot one. So when she wakes up on her thirty-fourth birthday and wonders how it is that she still lives with her widowed mom and spinster aunt while her friends have all gotten married and started families, she decides it’s time to get a life.

Good Girls Do, by Cathie Linz. After his father’s death, Luke Maguire returns home to Serenity Falls to take care of the family bar and, while trying to liven the town up a little, forms an unlikely alliance with Julia Wright, a sassy librarian who can read him like an open book.

Here Lies the Librarian, by Richard Peck. Fourteen-year-old Eleanor “Peewee” McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians.

Louisiana Saves the Library, by Emily Beck Cogburn. Librarian Louisiana Richardson must resort to unconventional methods if she is going to save Alligator Bayou Parish’s struggling library from being closed.


About shurlleemai

Librarian and avid reader.
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