And yet on December 6, 2010 -- I know the date because it was the day after my birthday -- I woke up with a pressing need to talk to Turner. Something in my mind had decided, without any guidance or input from me, that I was going to go to library school, and I urgently needed to figure out how I was going to do it.
But this post isn't really about that; that's just the back story. This post is about everything that's happened since I made that subconscious, somewhat life-changing decision.
I'm writing this at the circulation desk of a medical library, at the very end of my first term of library school. I'm still the newest student assistant at this library (though not for much longer), working alongside Turner and with a group of pretty amazing librarians who have been nothing but enthusiastically supportive. I'm working on a project for the User Experience librarian, producing a little video about the OHSU library and the librarians who work here, which gives me hope that my old video skills might still have some applications in my new field. Elsewhere, I'm sitting on the board of the Oregon Special Libraries Association as the Student Liaison, and doing Events Coordination for the Emporia SLIM-OR student chapter of the ALA (another largely subconscious decision -- although I do draw some amusement from the idea that library school would be the one place in the universe where I would ever find myself becoming the chair of the prom planning committee.)
I used to not understand Turner whenever he started talking about library stuff -- metadata this and user experience that, and god, the acronyms. But now, while my librarianship-related vocabulary is still a bit rudimentary, not only do I mostly understand, but I even have some opinions that I could discuss and defend if necessary. I still don't know what to say when people ask me what kind of work I want to do, or even what area of librarianship I'm most interested in. One term in, I'm acutely aware of how much I still don't know, and how much I still want to try. One term in, my biggest problem is probably my impulse to do as much as possible as fast as I can, to try to cram everything in all at once, to constantly look for more. I'm easily distracted by every shiny idea I stumble upon, and even in my classwork I often find myself wandering far away from the intended course material.
But a year to the day since I woke up having made, frankly, a pretty startling decision seemingly without even have consulted myself on the subject, I'm really happy about how things have turned out so far. It took a while to fully come to grips with what I was setting out to do, but since then I've had few doubts that the choice, however ass-backwards its provenance, was the right one. I enjoy the work, and I enjoy my job. I seem to fit into the wider culture of librarianship, and while I haven't done much yet, I'm proud of what I've accomplished in a short time. If I can get this far in a few short months of grad school, think how far I can get in two years. Think how far I can get in a whole career.
So while it's a funny sort of anniversary to observe, I can't help but think that this has been an important year for me, and one that deserves a little reflection.