In December 2011 I finished my Library Information Technology A.S. degree through Minneapolis Community and Technical College. This marked the completion of the first thing I’ve done that was entirely of my own doing, my own desire, my own design. I’ve done a lot of things, had a lot of really good experiences, but most were born out of a reaction to something, or a product/bi-product of some “should”, a lot pretty thoughtlessly. This, however, was and is entirely me.
It started when I was visiting family in PA a few years ago. My sister in-law was reviewing her college transcripts. She was sitting focused on the papers, considering going back to school to become a nurse. This was something she had always been interested in doing. She was there for the birth of my two kids and her bedside manner was a blessing both times; it made perfect sense to me. Her focus that day created such a clear and poignant memory. Here she was, facing the possibility of doing what she truly wanted to do. She inspired me.
Over the years I wanted to “go back to school”, but really had no idea what for. Something clicked after that visit to PA. Everything came together – one of my favorite responsibilities in my previous work was library research; I enjoyed volunteering with kids before I had any of my own; I loved children’s books; I am kind of a big kid. I noticed that I knew several happy librarians. I also remembered that my first ever volunteer gig was when I was in elementary school – I’d go to the library and make sure filmstrips were correctly rewound and filed. The library was a little refuge.
So I started and finished my LIT degree with the intention of working in a public elementary school. During my studies I considered other types of libraries, but I came back to elementary schools… this is where a lot of kids first connect with books, reading, learning. The library is or can be at the center of all of this. The school library can be a refuge, a quiet place, an inspiration.
I ended my education with an internship at an elementary school in Minneapolis under the guidance of a terrific Media Specialist who let me get in there and explore. I was planning on a long job search, but had excellent luck when I found a job at an IB Primary Years Programme school in Saint Paul the same month I finished my internship. I love my job. I read to kids, I explore kids books, I organize information, I assist in research.
The other day at school I was looking for something in a cabinet. I opened the door and out fell a filmstrip canister. We don’t have filmstrips in our Library Media Center anymore. This was a missed or ignored remnant from a kit. Geekily, I smiled and got teary eyed… I’m not kidding. This, I decided, was the universe reminding me I was in the right place.
By the way, I also have a soft spot for microfiche. And, my sister-in-law is now a nurse.