Fast-forward to now, four months out of college, and I know what I want to do: go back for my master’s.
I’ve always loved reading, and I’ve always loved writing. When I started my undergrad at Marquette University, I thought I was going be a world-changing journalist. Senior year, I realized I would rather get into book publishing. During my two incredible months of interning at Scholastic in New York this summer, I’ve changed my mind again – or rather, I went back to the original idea I had at age eight.
When I was in third grade, I organized my entire larger-than-normal collection of children’s books according to the Dewey Decimal System – or at least what I considered that to be. (Really, ask my mom). I haven’t the faintest idea why I did it, but I can still remember cutting out crooked rectangular pieces of white paper, scribbling down the first three letters of an author’s last name and slapping it on the spine of a book with Scotch tape.
I never seriously considered turning my passion for reading, thirst for information and at times obsessive-compulsive organizational skills into a career … until a few months ago. Again, you might ask why, and again I will tell you I have no clue.
Perhaps the seed got planted in my head when I was at Trader Joe’s and the cashier told me I “looked like a librarian,” (Compliment taken). Or maybe it was rekindling my love for children’s books while working at a great company like Scholastic immediately after college. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but feel like deep down being a librarian is what I’ve always wanted to do. It just took me a while to realize it.
I’ve always loved kids, and I think instilling an early love and appreciation for reading is one of the most important things an adult can do for a child. I had great parents and teachers who gave me that gift, and it will forever be the best one I received.
Even though I always had exceptionally positive relationships with my teachers, I never felt the desire to be one. I still don’t, and I recently realized something extremely important: First you learn to read, and then you read to learn.
I don’t want to teach kids how to read, but I want to help them cultivate it as a passion and hobby. I want to help them realize all of the places reading can take a person. What I want to do for kids is what my parents and teachers did for me: Make me a bookworm, a word nerd and a lifelong seeker of information.
I recently received my acceptance letter to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Masters of Library and Information Science program where I will begin getting my master’s degree in January, and I can't wait to get started.
Until then, I will be focusing my energy on this literary and library-related website, looking for paid and volunteer positions at local libraries and conducting informational interviews with public librarians.
Here’s to the next chapter – both literal and figurative.
And don’t worry; the writer in me is still just as passionate as the reader. I plan to continue working toward my dream of becoming a published author (either children’s books or otherwise) during my downtime. You won’t just see my face in the library one day – you’ll see my name on the shelves as well.