In my self-introduction yesterday, I failed to say what I do. Well, now you know, of sorts. Actually, the way I see it, being a librarian isn’t merely what I do. It’s what I AM.
When I was a kid, I was always reading the Encyclopedia Americana and the World Almanac. The latter I have received for about 38 out of the past 40 years. (Someday, I’ll tell you my father’s reaction to that.)
But, I was self-misdiagnosed. For a while, I thought (and others thought even more so) that I’d be an A.M.E. ZION preacher. Later, I thought I’d be a lawyer.
My first job, other than delivering newspapers, was working as a page (i.e., gofer) at the main branch of the Binghamton Public Library . I was under the tutelage of one Mrs. Fawcett, an elegant lady from my church.
But, no, I stayed with the idea of being a lawyer, until I FAILED an undergraduate law course. Then I didn’t know WHAT I was to do. After graduation from the State University College at New Paltz, I drifted about. (A story in its own right.)
I decided to go to the University at Albany and major in Public Administration. What a mistake! The students were cut-throat. Ultimately, I dropped out, worked for FantaCo Enterprises, a comic book, and film book emporium for 8.5 years. Then I had a dreadful year at Empire Blue Cross. (Can’t wait to talk about THAT!)
While I was working as a Census enumerator in 1990, three of my friends, Jendy and Judy, who were new librarians, and Broome, who was a lawyer, convinced (OK, NAGGED) me into applying to the UAlbany library school. Frankly, I didn’t think they’d take me after my previous disaster at the graduate level.
But they did. And I found it was a very cooperative experience, due in no small part to the fact that most of the students were women. Also, I didn’t feel out of place as a returning student. That year, I was 37. The average age of students in the department was 37.
I got a job that I’ve had for over a dozen years, and it’s clear that this is what I ought to have been doing all along. I LOVE librarians.