I grew up in a book-centric house. Both of my parents are avid readers who passed that love onto me (although when I was really young, my librarian-mother despaired of me ever loving books because I would scream bloody murder every time we went to the library). That tide turned when I was 9 years old and my mother handed me a copy of Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey. From that moment, I was hooked on reading. Until I was old enough to get a job, each summer I spent all day, every day, curled up in a chair reading stacks of books. I listened to music when I read, and to this day, certain songs evoke scenes from whatever book I was reading at the time (The Beatles’ Second Album, and Deep Breakfast by Ray Lynch were the two most popular musical choices. Opposite ends of the spectrum, I know.)
My love of books, along with a librarian mother, a storytelling step-mother, and a sister who decided she would get her MLS degree, propelled me into going for an MLS as well. Getting one has been in the back of my mind for several years, but always something to be done in the future when my kids are older. The impetus came during the summer of 2013 when my sister told me she was going to do it. So we both applied to the same school, we both got in, and now here we are!
My focus is children’s and young adult literature. I love planning and running programs centered around picture books. I’ve been doing it with my Girl Scout troop for the past three years, and now I’ll get to create programming for a local library. I was recently hired as a part-time circulation clerk, but one of the big reasons I was hired was to run children’s and family programs.
What I hadn’t counted on when I started the MLS program was how expansive the library field actually is. In the short time I’ve been in library school, I’ve learned that awesome things like gamification, makerspaces, and transmedia storytelling exist. I want to delve more deeply into them as all three are complimentary to each other and children’s programming, and there is amazing potential for creativity.
Favorite Books: Neverwhere, Sunshine, Pride and Prejudice
Favorite Graphic Novels / Manga / Webtoons: Girl Genius, Orange Marmalade, The Unwritten
I don’t know if Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain is actually the first book I ever read, but it’s the first book I remember distinctly. When I was learning how to read, everything finally clicked into place while we were visiting my grandmother over Christmas one year. I annoyed my mother and sister on the two day drive home by reading every sign, billboard, and big rig I saw. From that time on, books became an essential part of my life, and every visit to the library was a new adventure. I’m most comfortable when surrounded by books–in middle school I opted out of electives to be a library page instead, and my first job out of high school was in a bookstore. A new living space never feels fully settled until my book collection is in place.
This love of books is ultimately what pushed me toward a career in libraries. I’m hoping to enter into the MSIS program at the University at Albany in the next year or so, with the intention of working in public libraries and cataloging. For now, I’m working full-time in school library systems at a local education support services organization and part-time as a circulation clerk at a public library.
Favorite Books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Pride and Prejudice, The Blue Sword
Favorite Authors: Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, Bill Bryson, Tamora Pierce