Guest Post: The Life and Times of a New Librarian – Meet Nicky

by Elizabeth on December 7, 2011 · 1 comment

in guest post, jobs, librarians, librarianship

Yes, the series is back!  And with all new contributors!  Every Wednesday from now until the end of the year, we will hear from a new librarian telling his or her story.  I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I enjoy posting them!  Check out last week’s post from Braegan, and the previous post from Benji

Four career changes in four years.There’s something you have to know about me: I’m a neurotic planner (I even admit it!). It definitelywasn’t supposed to go this way.I started as an optometry student (that’s right, I was getting my doctorate to study eyes), then I got a job as an event coordinator (I counted myself lucky to get anyjob), decided on library school (still currently in grad school), and then landed a job in web production.Maybe the question isn’t: how am I going to use my education in library and information science? But rather, how many miscellaneous skills can I fit on my resume? Does “owner of many shoes”count for anything?

I started library school in Spring 2010 while I was still working in events. The company I worked for had no idea that I was pursuing my master’s, and I didn’t want to jeopardize my position by informing them I was studying something completely unrelated (in my head: “hey boss…blah blah blah library school.” Boss: “we were looking for your replacement anyway.”). But how was I to get a job in a library when I had no experience?

I found that I as I loved my classes more and more, I dreaded going to work. I mean, I LOATHED it. Waking up to go to work was becoming tantamount to lifting a heavy boulder off my chest EVERY DAY.  So, I started hunting for jobs (ahem, somewhat desperately) – opportunities at any type of library and jobs that incorporated working with the web.

It took quite some time, but fortunately, I found a position (hooray!) this summer working in web development for an educational non-profit (they also have a small library!). I’m using the knowledge from my classes, and working with an amazing IT team – they make every day at work breeze by (I couldn’t ask for better colleagues), and I wake up wanting to go to work.

Around the same time, I scored a part-time job working in reference at a public library nearby. I love working with the public (for the most part), and that warm, sunshiny feeling that you get when you’ve made someone’s day just by helping them find the information for which they are searching.

I’ve also been volunteering in the teen room at another local library. The teen librarian is AMAZING. She’s dedicated a space in the library for the teens and tailored the collection to meet their needs. Teens consistently ask after her when she’s not around.

So what’s my dilemma exactly? I am using so many facets of my education in my everyday life – AND I’m happy. Which is all one can really ask for…



I don’t know what to do – where to go from here… I planned on working at my former job, finishing my degree, and going directly into libraries. Now, I love my job (::cough cough:: I wish it paid more – it is a nonprofit ::cough cough::)  but I’ll probably have to leave it eventually to pursue a position as a “librarian.”

(I am NOT boo-hooing here, just stating my issues.)

But what if I leave, and the next place isn’t as good as this one? What if I decide on yet anothercareer change? What if this was a huge gamble (again), and my parting gift is massive amounts of debt that I’ll never be able to conceivably pay off without selling myself on a street corner?I have three classes left, and I’ve decided to enjoy this time by using the information gleaned from my coursework in each of my current roles, and postpone graduation until Fall 2012.Without any doubt, I don’t regret the decisions that I’ve made. They’ve made me a stronger person, with life experience. And one thing I’ve learned decisively is that sometimes life is about finding your own happiness, because more often than not, things do not turn out the way you expect them to – BUT it’s almost always a worthwhile experience – and maybe even a blessing in disguise.
Nicky is a self-proclaimed nerd living and working in Boston. She has mastered the art of falling gracefully, yet never has enough pairs of heels. Nicky has an inexplicable and innate love of libraries, the web, and cupcakes, and still believes that her mum is a superhero.  She can be found on Twitter

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