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Learning Something New

May 15, 2012

I have long believed that life is for learning, and that it is indeed possible to “learn something new every day.” After running my own business for over ten years, though, I found myself yearning to learn about something new, and take my life in a new direction. My search for this particular “something new” led me to a logical place: the library. No, I didn’t do research there, not this time anyhow. But I did conclude my search there, for it was there that I discovered what I wanted to learn about: librarianship.

Libraries have played an important role in my life beginning from the time I could read. From summer reading programs at the public library to a weekly visit to the school’s library, the information I found at the library helped my curious young mind discover new horizons. I was sure the library had everything I wanted to know, if I knew how to find it. Even when my third grade teacher couldn’t help me find a book that explained where words came from, and why a cow was called a cow and not a rose (“Why don’t you look for something else this week,” she pleaded with me.), I was still sure the book was there somewhere and I just hadn’t effectively communicated my needs. Too bad the word “etymology” hadn’t yet entered my vocabulary!

I still have fond memories of spending summers reading books from the public library, tucked away in the little reading nook my parents had helped me create under my lofted twin bed, and I also remember how happy I was to obtain my first job, working as a page at that same public library. Shelving books for hours may not have been mentally stimulating, but the kindness and generosity of the librarians and staff there made my days enjoyable. When I left that position to go off to college, I found a new delight in the wonders of an academic library.

But even graduation from college did not end my library patronage. Important life decisions, like purchasing a new car, were researched at the library, and when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, the library helped me learn about my condition and how to cope with it. So too did the library help me learn how to turn my fiber arts interests into my own business.

Throughout my life, librarians encouraged my curiosity and helped me find the answers I sought. Now I believe it is my turn, and so I hope that as I gain the skills necessary to become a librarian, I can help others and teach them the skills necessary to become a lifelong learner.

This is my new direction, one that I am proud to be pursuing.

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