As I compose my personal statement for my library school application, I’m reminded of the libraries I’ve been associated with over the years. The first library I remember is the Carnegie Library in Selma, Alabama, where I got my first library card. I loved my library card, and the librarian who gave it to me was, yes, gray bunned and bespeckled. Interestingly enough, there isn’t a picture of the old Carnegie Library on the current Selma-Dallas County Library website, but there is a postcard of my “first” library for sale on eBay! Check it out (pardon the pun!) here. It’s on my “watch” list on eBay, and I’m seriously thinking about buying it.
In my personal statement’s current version, I’ve also enjoyed memories of my first library job, as a student assistant at UNC-Greensboro‘s Jackson Library Circulation Desk. I was on UNCG’s campus earning my North Carolina teaching certification, and the library job was a really good fit! During my degree work there, I worked with an education professor on editing a users manual geared for teachers using the Apple IIe. That was my first experience with a computer, so the professor thought I was a great candidate for working through the draft of her teacher users manual. I remember spending 20 minutes or so on Page 1, where it said to turn on the computer. I couldn’t find the power button, and went home discouraged! We laughed about it later, and I ended up enjoying that project a lot! This particular professor also saw me at my circulation desk job a lot, so after I finished working on her Apple IIe project, she commented that while she didn’t want to discourage me from teaching at all, she thought I’d enjoy library science school and the librarian profession a lot. (UNCG has a library school, to boot.) I’ve remembered her comments, and it’s nice to remember those seeds being planted in the late ’80s.
What are your memories of libraries in your life?