I got started in the library world in the fall of 2011. I asked my college career counselor to help me find a job and she said, “I have the perfect thing for you.” She hooked me up with Northeast Kingdom AmeriCorps and the Cobleigh Library Bookmobile in Lyndonville, Vermont. The day I started the 10 year old bookmobile we had broke down irreparably. For the next year and a half I ran the program out of the trunk of my car hauling books to and from all the services sites.
I worked on the bookmobile for five years providing library outreach services to infants and kids up to 4th grade in seven towns in the NEK. Eventually I moved up from being an AmeriCorps volunteer to the program facilitator. I got to plan programming, manage the collection, coordinate service sites, supervise other AmeriCorps folks, and just generally have a dream job.
In 2013, when I finished my service with AmeriCorps and starting working only part time on the bookmobile, I started working at my alma mater library. I was the evening and weekend reference librarian and assistant to the circulation coordinator. This was the place I fell in love with doing reference work. There is almost nothing more satisfying than helping a patron find the answer they are seeking.
Two years later, the library director asked me if I would fill the role of Public Services Librarian on an interim basis. I was thrilled to. In this position I helped teach information literacy skills to most of the freshman classes, research skills to a few senior seminars as well. Not only that, but I got to develop a year of programming focused on compassion. Our greatest success was a series of discussions (fueled by pizza) about physical, mental and invisible disabilities. We had activities like blindfolded building and wheelchair navigation, which actually resulted in more handicap access buttons being placed on campus.
Unfortunately, due to downsizing of the school, I was unable to remain in that position. I had a lot of fun and learned a ton, but moved on to the Burlington High School library. Currently I am the only full time staff member serving the needs of about 1,000 students. I do everything from help printing, homework help, cataloging, weeding, and reference work. In addition to this myself, my co-worker and the school media specialist redesigned the whole library space from shelves to furnishings. We moved all 18,000 books to better promote what we have in the collection, and moved furniture, added seating and generally made the space more student-centric.
This summer I’m lucky enough to work with the Fletcher Free Library as their outreach person.