I call myself an “Accidental Acquisitions Librarian” because I never imagined overseeing budgets, handling monthly reconciliation, negotiating deals with vendors, overseeing and leading a unit and so much more that I do.
Did you envision your dream job when you were in library school? Maybe it was providing reference services or cataloging rare books or running story time.
Before I started library school I had no idea how tight the job market was and how challenging landing that dream or first job could be.
I attended one of the largest LIS programs in the country with a few thousand other students. I enjoyed the program and felt it prepared me in many ways for my career, however the size of the program and all the other LIS programs means there is a lot of competition for jobs. In my current workplace we also accept graduate degrees related to the MLIS for Librarian positions, so that means even more competition.
With all the people looking for library work, how do you land your dream job? Sometimes we find ourselves on a path we didn’t imagine.
I fell into this area because I had a supervisor who saw potential in me and heard my request to lead more within the organization. I was given the responsibility of handling monthly reconciliation of our collections budget, which led to taking on increased financial responsibilities and supervision.
I did not consider myself a leader before starting my graduate studies. I found myself in leadership roles during school and after, so I have made the conscious effort to grow and develop my leadership abilities.
When I first took monthly reconciliation over I have to admit there was some hair pulling on my end (who goes to library school to handle budgets?). Stepping outside my comfort zone was hard, but it gave me skills that helped me advance into my first professional position. I have stepped outside my comfort zone other times and walked away knowing that type of work is not for me. However, sometimes you walk away loving something you never thought you would and opening pathways you wouldn’t have imagined.
Are you on a path in libraries you never envisioned? How did you get there?