When I was a little girl, my mom used to take me to the little library in our township in New Jersey. It wasn’t much, probably smaller than the library I intern at now, but it was a different time for libraries and for us. The Internet wasn’t widely known about, PCs were in early use (remember DOS?), and first gen catalogs were just replacing card catalogs. Libraries were simpler, but no less awesome. I couldn’t wait until I was older and would come to the library for homework help if you can believe that.
My mom was told by one of my doctors at the time that she’d never find any medical information in a public library. So she took that challenge and into that little library and up to the desk she strood. Art Wolk was the librarian there. She asked him for the information, and he not only knew what it was, he went striaght to a reference book, pulled it out, and flipped to it. That was my first introduction to a library and a librarian. Over the years Art would help me a lot. Whenever I had a problem, my mom would say “Let’s go ask Art” and he’d always be able to help. His wealth of knowledge – and sense of humor – always impressed me. Not to mention his gardening skills with the children’s garden outside the library where he once did a corn maze(Art is also an award winning gardener who is a staple of the Philadelphia Flower Show. His book Garden Lunacy: A Growng Concern is hysterical).
When I was 13, it was Art who suggested I volunteer over the summer. When I moved and left that library, I continued to volunteer with another male librarian, Kevin Griffith of the Pasco County Library System. By the time I was 16 or so I wanted to be a Librarian just like Art. I wanted to do for others what he always did for me. It is Art I have to thank for inspiring me to be what’ I’m about to become. And Kevin helped too.
In January 2011 I finally started library school at USF. And as much as I’ve always hated school, I found myself not hating it as much anymore. Maybe it’s because library science really is my “calling” so to speak. I was finally learning what I was meant to learn all along, all the other stuff was just stepping stones to get me to graduate school. On one hand, I can’t believe the last three years are over with, on the other I want to go “Thank the Force it’s over!”. Now, graduation is only three weeks away and then I will officially be a librarian. I can’t believe it. Where did the years go? I had my last class on Saturday and it feels like a huge relief that it’s almost over. I can’t wait to walk across the stage when my name is announced with my classmates.
Now I just need to find a job, preferably in Youth Services working with teens.