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Thank you to all the librarians in my life

| Wednesday, November 20, 2019

As a senior, I have been thinking a lot about where I am and how I got to this point in my life. With all the ups and downs in life, I could not have done it without my friends and family. They are my rock. While reflecting on my educational experience, there is one other important factor that has helped shaped me to be who I am today: the library.

It all started my sophomore year of high school. I had planned to take a study hall that semester, but that lasted all of two minutes. The library gods sent an angel in a light pink North Face jacket to my study hall room. She walked right in the room asking for a library aid. No one responded, so she took the initiative by pointing directly at me and said, “You, come with me.”

Scared, I followed her into the library. She told me that being a library aid was much better than study hall because working in the library was a lot of fun and I could receive class credit. After one day, I was hooked. Shelving books and talking to supportive librarians helped me relax after stressful classes.

Although quiet during work, librarians have strong and powerful voices that protect our freedom of speech. Being a quiet kid, it made me realize that even though I rarely spoke out, my opinions matter.

The following year I got my first job at the library. I was the paper girl, shelver and shelf reader. Every morning I would drop off the teachers’ papers in their mailboxes. After, I would try and talk with all of the librarians until someone told me that I should start shelving.

Although this job was only an hour each day, I learned so much. This job taught me basic job skills like time management. As a high schooler, I was always running around like a chicken with its head cut off. After starting my job, I became more organized and began to use my time more wisely. I also discovered that I liked working because it kept me busy.

Almost immediately after graduating high school, I remember scouring the Saint Mary’s job page for an application for Cushwa-Leighton Library. The day I found it, I emailed it directly to my future boss begging to get a job. Fast forward three years later and I basically live in the library because it’s my job, it’s my favorite place to study and it’s a source of free hot chocolate.

Additionally, I learned how to turn my passion for social media into a job. Every day I create content for the library’s social media platforms. My mentor has also exposed me to the administrative side of the library where I communicate between the different teams within the library. These communication skills are extremely helpful when it comes to planning contests, events and promoting certain posts. They will also be helpful when it comes time to find a job after graduation.

Most importantly, my experiences from the library gave me the drive to go and get things that I wanted.

Women often get the short end of the stick in life. Society has put women in a passive role that encourages us to wait for opportunities. As women, we must be proactive and go find and take risks. At the beginning of this semester, I became one of the social media managers at The Observer. If it wasn’t for my mentor’s continuous support of my social media work, I am not sure that I would have been confident enough to contact The Observer about the position.

Before this semester, I had no experience in journalism. I knew that even though I didn’t know much about journalism, I had a plethora of skills in social media management and I knew that I could be an asset.

This lesson not only applies to me but is something that everyone should take with them. Be confident in yourself. No one is perfect and no one will ever be able to fulfill all of the requirements on a job application. If you believe you cannot apply for a certain position because you are not qualified enough, it limits your possibilities. You will miss out on amazing opportunities to learn about new subjects and to hone your existing skills. You could also miss out on meeting a bunch of amazing librarians or an awesome newspaper social media team.

Thank you to all the librarians in my life. I don’t know where I’d be without you.

Contact Taylor at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Taylor Strong

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