Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What was your Library Dream Job?

What was your ideal library job when you first imagined that you would be a librarian? Not the crap job you settled for, but your dream. Astronaut Librarian? In space, no one hears you go, Shhh.

What about just before you graduated from library school?

When I first had the the idea to become a librarian, I thought it would be great to work for the federal government. I actually researched pay grades for librarians in the military. But as I was already 30, I thought I was too old (something I read about military jobs listed a cutoff at 28), so I never went past just basic research.

When I was in my early twenties, I wanted to be a firefighter. I took the written tests and scored pretty high and passed the physical endurance test. I don't know if you know what you need to do for a firefighter physical, but you need to run a lot, lift and carry heavy shit, find your way out of a smoke-filled room, and hold your breath under water for a pretty long time. But for reasons I don't want to discuss, I never made the cut.

When I got to library school some years later, I was out of shape and ready for a life of sitting on my ass in a public library. Before that, I thought I could be a media specialist in a public school, but I'd learned that school principals are assholes and I didn't want take any job that I knew in advance would suck.

But after six weeks of library school, I'd lost twenty pounds. Partly from stress, but mostly from riding my bike everywhere and going to the gym every day. I had five classes my first semester. I'm looking at a copy of my transcript now: I took 16 credits my first semester, 9 credits over the summer, and then 14 more in the fall. Is library school still 39 credit hours for the degree?

And I graduated with a... I don't want to say until I know what the average is, otherwise revealing my pathetic GPA will just make the MLS look bad. Yes, it was above a 3.0, but not nearly as close to a 4.0 as one would expect from the genius you consistently enjoy on this here bloggy thing.

So I would go to class in the morning then go to the gym. Then go back for more classes and do homework in the library or in the computer lab. Most days, between classes, I slept on the furniture in the library building. I think my first class was at 6:30 a.m. and my last class ended around 8:00 p.m.

I got into library school totally by luck (a story which I've told too many times online to repeat here without it outing real me). And I got my first library job totally by luck; if you call accepting a job 200 miles from home "luck."

By graduation, I don't think I saw more than six jobs that I thought I wanted. And none were dreamy.

I just took out my graduation ceremony thingy and started looking for other graduates. One guy was an LJ Mover and Shaker, teaches at a library school and seems to have won lots of awards. I wonder if he remembers me.

So far, some of the other grads have blogs that aren't kept up. Oh, great, this woman is in Africa. Oh, hey, I have a cool blog. What? You help to educate children in Africa? Shit. Library 2.0 only matters to people who have unlimited bandwidth.

Great. Here is another woman doing better than me. University of Georgia. Feh. I have my own mini-fridge in my cubicle.

Too bad I really don't remember many people from library school. I really was busy when I was in library school. And as much as some people say the MLS is a joke degree, I worked my ass off to get it.

I don't know what my dream library job would be. It's not something I really think about. I would have wanted to be at a college, but too many of you bitch so much about the bullshit you deal with that I don't know if I could handle it without punching some prof square in the face.

I've guess I've just been busy with other stuff. Trying to keep a few people happy. So I guess I don't have any library dreams. But library fantasies, well, pull up a chair...