- Muggs Mills “How I Became a Librarian”; and
- Barbara Oldham “My First Library”.
How I Became a Librarian, by Muggs Mills, Skagit
When I was in 6th grade a local politician came to speak to my class. I asked him a question about something I read in the paper. Turns out, it was kind of a controversial subject. (Also turns out most 6th graders don’t read the newspaper like I did.) The politician laughed a bit nervously and said that I should be a reporter. I snapped back that I was going to be a reporter. And that was my goal for the next several years. I was both a reporter and editor of my junior and high school papers. (By the way, the politician was arrested years later for shoplifting. I knew he was sneaky.)
When I was a junior in college, I suddenly had a revelation that I DID NOT WANT TO BE A REPORTER. How could this be? It had been my plan for seemingly my entire life. So, I did the only thing I could think of. With dramatic flair, I took to my bed for a weekend. My roommates came into the room and tried to get me to get up. My boyfriend came in and tried to coax me out. In a very Marlena Dietrich fashion, I told them “I just want to be alone!”
Finally, my roommate and best friend, Jan said, “You are always reading; why don’t you become a librarian?” I looked up at her. I pondered. I thought, “What does a librarian do?” Hmm, this is something to think about. So, I got up and dressed (and bathed) and went to the library where I found a print copy of Occupational Outlook Handbook in the reference collection. I looked up librarian. Oh my gosh, I think I did a happy dance right there in the reference collection at McIntyre Library at UW- Eau Claire! I thought, this is it, I AM A LIBRARIAN. Some of my favorite reporting activities were listed right there. I was going to get to do research and select new books – heaven. Luckily, my university had a minor in library science. I graduated with my journalism degree, minor in library science and headed off to UW- Madison for my MLIS. I have been able to use my journalism background in every library I have ever worked in and I have been thankful to my roommate for her off the cuff remark ever since.
My First Library, by Barbara Oldham, Wenatchee Valley
When I was a kid we moved to a different city every 4-5 years. Still, one of the first things my mom would do is take us all to the library and get us a library card. When I was 10 we moved (again) this time, to a house with a large garage. There was a space in the garage up above the garage door that you could climb up to – a private place. I decided to turn it into a library for the kids in the neighborhood. We’d collect books – they could borrow them and bring them back “when they were done with them.” That was my first foray into librarianship.