From the time I was a child, I have loved libraries and wanted to be a librarian. It was a long and winding road getting to this goal; however, I finally reached my destination, and the trip was definitely worth it.
I started working at Virginia Western twenty years ago in the Admissions Office, when Admissions was on the bottom floor of the library building. I thought to myself, “If I could only work my way upstairs…”
After working in Admissions for four years, I transferred into the Counseling Department where I worked as an academic advisor for eight years. By this time, Admissions and Counseling had moved to the bottom floor of Fishburn Hall. I would come over to the library on my lunch break and contemplate ways that I could advise students from the top floor of the library: “If I could only move my office over here…”
Finally in 2000, I got the opportunity to take courses through the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to become a librarian. Although I had already received a Bachelor’s in English from North Carolina Central University and a Master’s in Liberal Studies from Hollins University, this didn’t cut it. A specific Master’s degree is required in order to become a librarian, so I had to go back to college. As our reference librarian, Laura Milliman, states in her introduction on this blog, “Yes, you really do have to go to school for this!”
During my first semester taking library science classes, a wonderful thing happened: the opportunity arose for me to transfer jobs and work in Virginia Western’s library! Working with the experienced Brown Library staff as I was taking classes helped me to reach my lifelong goal. I graduated with a Master’s in Information Science from UT (Go VOLS!) in 2003 and became the college’s Technical Services Librarian in 2005.
As Technical Services Librarian, I do a variety of things. I facilitate the ordering of books for our collection, and then I catalog and process the new books as they arrive. I repair and preserve our older books so that they can hang in there beside the new ones. I work the reference desk two nights a week, and work the virtual reference desk when our reference librarian is unable to. I create the library displays, provide a library tour (in person and online), and cook up fun library activities such as our recent “Word of the Week Contest.” Stay tuned for more fun activities to come!
In addition to all of this, I am an adjunct (part-time) instructor. I used to teach English 01 and English 111 for the college’s Humanities Division, but now I teach College Success Skills (SDV-100) online for the Student Services Division. I also provide library-related workshops for various Virginia Western classes and present seminars for the college’s retention program.
That’s the story of my travels. So, what’s your destination? Be sure to enjoy the trip along the way.