When I was younger, the thought of a career in library work was not a consideration of how I would earn a living. In a series of courageous series of choices, I found myself moving from the homeland of Grand Rapids Michigan to a remote town in upstate New York.
I applied at the nearby two-year private college library. I think I was hired because I gave my (future) boss a ride home after he strolled into a gift shop where I was designing store-front windows. I had known of him as a famous birder and librarian. He had just arrived in town after spending four months birding in Alaska and didn’t want to have to hitchhike home the last 23 miles. He and I lived on the same road. When I showed up for the interview, it consisted of one question: “do you want the job?” Yes, I answered and I was off to a 15-year career as a library technician.
This library was different than the one I currently work at. I lived on the river that led to the lake that the library was located on. For the most part, I rowed a 21-foot guide boat to work, opening my coffee thermos in the middle of the lake to enjoy a cup of mail order Peet’s before pulling the boat up to shore and opening up the library. I once found a tin camping cup face up as a rowed and used it as my commute cup for many years. What luck I have!
Except for a few, students at this college pursued their two-year degree living on campus in housing the college provided. Their choices were to party or go to the library and study. Students in most fields of study went on externships providing a semester of in the field experience. Many of them had job offers right out of college. I became life long friends of many library users from that college.
After moving to California, I thought working in a library was the last thing I wanted to do. There had to be so many other options of work available in this beautiful state. I’ve already worked in an isolated area at a college where I could row to work, motorcycle or bicycle to work, or even walk! But still, I found myself attracted to Foothill’s beautiful campus and library. It was the best decision I ever made.
The many chances a state community college offers students of all abilities is with an open heart. No matter what your past is, it’s all about your future. I’m proud to be part of this process.