Why I Work In A Library - 2003/2004

Sueling ChhiuSueling Chhiu
Library Assistant, Future Librarian

Sueling is reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Available at PR 4034 .P7 1980

At the age of seventeen, I volunteered at the local public library not knowing I would some day turn it into a career. In college, I started working at the Santa Fe library to establish my residency in Florida. I enjoyed working at the libraries, but never seriously considered it as a profession. Lost in college, I entered the University of Florida as a general business major. I didn't know what I wanted to do until my third year. It was then that I realized I wanted to pursue librarianship. By this time, I've worked at the Santa Fe library for two years. I researched the field and to my astonishment, there was so much I could do with a library science degree. After speaking with the Assistant Dean at the University of Illinois, I became even more ecstatic about librarianship. I'm constantly learning about the field.

After I graduate from the University of Florida next year, I will continue my education at the University of Illinois where I will receive my Master's degree in library science. I plan on intertwining my business background with my library background and become a corporate or law librarian. I love working with stress and I look forward to the challenges ahead of me. I know my obsession for organization, my thirst for knowledge, and my love for learning makes me the perfect candidate for a librarian.

Elizabeth EngelElizabeth Engel
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor

Liz is reading Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by by Doreen Cronin
Available at PZ7.C88135 Cl 2000

I stumbled into librarianship during the last semester of my undergraduate degree. I was an Advertising major, but I had a large interest in literature. I needed a career where I could work with literature, books and research, without immediately getting my Ph.D. I searched the web and discovered the American Library Association (ALA). After reading through their web site, I realized that I admired many of the ideals of librarianship, however, I was a little skeptical about choosing it as a "final" career. Once I began speaking to several people about my career choice, I realized what a wonderful field I had chosen. Librarianship has many different fields (archives, academic, school, special, public, museum) and the skills you obtain from graduate school can be applied throughout your entire career. So, I researched graduate schools which are ALA-accredited and received my Master's Degree in Library and Information Science (yes, a Master's Degree is required) from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

So, I chose to become a librarian for a number of reasons. First, I could work in a socially conscious career. Libraries have the ability to educate the masses because most public library cards are free. Unfortunately, income is often a determining factor in one's access to quality materials, but libraries are an effort to combat this situation. People who cannot afford to purchase books or Internet connections have access at the library. Second, libraries are one of the cornerstones of freedom and I am keen on protecting First Amendment rights and championing equal access to all. Third, libraries are historical resource centers, keeping old documents and allowing the public to use them. Without libraries, how would we track events accurately? If each person were responsible for keeping records for their own families, we would be missing a large portion of information for the public to see, evaluate and learn from. Finally, I need to be constantly learning, whether it be new trends in children's literature, how to invest soundly or a new cooking recipe, as a librarian I have access to many of the new materials, but then again, so do you!

Kim HankinsKim Hankins
Library Specialist

Kim is reading Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman
Available at PS3558.O3447 T87 1992

In my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin there was a magical place. A library just for children! It was in an old Congregational Church with a wonderful rose window, nooks, crannies and a window seat in the minister's office. Just the spot for enjoying a good book. I think I read every fairy tale book on the shelves, as well as all the stories about real children around the world. While my father went to the Art Institute of Chicago and my mother was working to help out, we lived with my grandparents. My grandmother spent hours every day reading to me. I still have a copy of one of my favorites, The Tawny Scrawny Lion. Although books have been the lifelines of my imagination it didn't occur to me to become a librarian. I trained as an elementary school teacher, but found that profession was not a good match for me. While my husband was in medical school, I had a lot of time on my hands. A woman named Ludi Johnson , who was a member of our Baha'i Faith community, moved to Gainesville to teach Library Science at UF. My husband, Gary, suggested that since I loved books so much, why didn't I take some of her classes. What a concept! Well, I did and the rest is history.

Tom HollandTom Holland
Library Media Specialist

Tom is reading Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights by Hans Belting
Available at ND653.B65 A65 2002

As a man comes,
so he departs,
and what does he gain,
since he toils for the wind?
All his days he eats in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his labor during the few days of life God has given him. This is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work. This is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

Why do I like working in the Library? I am a blessed man.

Debbie KennedyDebbie Kennedy
Circulation Manager, Future Librarian

Debbie is reading Harley-Davidson: Rolling Sculpture by Doug Mitchel

My job as circulation manager is so rewarding, I can't imagine working anywhere else. I meet so many people from different walks of life and from all over the world and have made many friendships. It's been a learning experience for me as well and it gives back so much. I am working towards becoming a librarian for many reasons. I enjoy the academic setting and the focus on education is so important. There is such a wealth of information out there that is just at our fingertips. I want to help people find what they are looking for and even more, it's endless. And again, so rewarding.

Ramona Miller-RidlonRamona Miller-Ridlon
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor

Ramona is reading The Canturbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Available at PR 1870 .A1 W7 1985

I didn't start out wanting to be a librarian. I wanted to be a history instructor at a community college. While in college getting my bachelor's degree I worked at the University library in the reference department. I loved the work, I loved being around the reference books and surrounded by people who were learning all the time. I also liked the librarians, they were people who are naturally helpful and loved knowledge. And every librarian I worked with loved their job, how many jobs can you say that for? When I went onto graduate school I realized that I had lost my passion for history and really missed being in the library. I changed paths and decided to get my Masters in Library Science instead. And I have never regretted the decision. After nearly 7 years I still love my job. I love helping people. I love the excitement of never knowing what the next reference question is going to be. I love the excitement students show when they discover a new database or book. And I still love librarians. If you have to work day in and day out with a group of people, they are the best!

Mary McCarty
Reference Librarian, Professor

Mary is reading The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn

I work in the library because it's usually fun.. Reference work can be somewhat like solving a puzzle, especially if the subject is something I know nothing about. The job involves variety and working with lots of different people everyday. I started work here almost twenty years ago after working part time as a library assistant at one of the satellite SF campuses for several years. My previous occupations were social casework and teaching. Being a librarian also means being a teacher since all the librarians also teach credit and noncredit classes. I really like working with the library staff, too, and we all care a lot about each other. I can truly say this is the best job I've ever had!

Karen MooreKaren Moore
Reference Librarian, Professor

Karen is reading The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Available at PS3553.O5198 P7 1986

I am a librarian because of Santa Fe Community College. I was employed by our library as a student assistant, and was mentored by our very talented staff during the 1970's. I earned my BA in American Studies at University of Florida knowing that a Liberal Arts Degree would be a good prerequisite to a graduate degree in Library and Information Science. I spent a years educational leave at FSU where I earned my MSLS. I am very committed to the service ideal of the profession, I have a very curious mind so I love the search and retrieval of information. I enjoy working with students and researchers or devoted readers of any ilk.

John ReamesJohn Reames
Circulation Assistant

John is reading The Civil War Soldier: A Photographic Journey by Ray M. Carson
Available at E607 .C33 2000

I work in a library because:

I can read
the writings
and poetry
of authors
that lived in the past and
the present
and the events
that they have covered.

Serafin Roldan-SantiagoSerafin Roldan-Santiago
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor

Serafin is reading Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey by V.S. Naipaul
Available at BP63.A1 N35 1982

To read
To write
To ponder over truth.
To meditate and cogitate
What life means to me …
To think about long ago times
And ages immemorial,
Far away regions on our globe,
Becoming conscious
Of space and time in distant places and epochs
But also of cotidian things right before our eyes.
The beauty of the small and obvious.

The air
The water
The sunshine
The library can give us access to these,
And much more!
Yes!, That is why I love to work in libraries,
But I may say: not all libraries!
Ah! But yes, the Lawrence W. Tyree Library
Yippee for me and for you!

Myra SterrettMyra Sterrett
Library Director

Myra is reading The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

I like it! I like helping people. I like working with other people who feel the same way.

My first library job was when I was twelve years old. (Yes! I remember clearly that far back!) Anyway, I was running across the street to go play baseball with the boys. All of a sudden Fr. Ansbro comes outside and says, “I need help. You, you and you! Please.” He pointed right at me. We had to unload some boxes from a car and put them in the new parish library that he was starting. I carried my box in and unpacked it. Instinctively I started arranging all the books the boys were dumping out of the boxes grouping them by subject. The priest saw this and sent the boys to carry all the boxes and said to me “You put the books on the shelves.”

I never thought I'd be a librarian. It just happened. My second library job was years later as a college student. I was spending most of my time in the college library anyway and I needed a part time job. I got to work with “uncataloged” books! Stuff that wasn't even on the shelves! I learned to mend books. I learned how to decide where the books should go according to “the rules”. All I knew at the time was it was SO much easier for me to get my research assignments done because I knew how to find things in the library and who to ask for help. Then they put me on the reference desk, not by myself of course, but with an “adult” (their words not mine) librarian. Well, I liked it! Everything was getting automated and I was studying computer programming. My part time turned into a full time job. I loved it. Life was good. I wrote and I worked in the college library. I did every job in every department in the library and even supervised students and some technical services staff. That's when I realized I was hooked and didn't fight it when my boss “encouraged” me to go to library school.

I worked in a public library after getting my Masters and loved that. I've also worked in the corporate world for international companies (American and foreign owned) I've worked in positions that had nothing to do with libraries. But always my library background served me very well. I always had all sorts of information at my disposal and constantly amazed my colleagues when I said “It's publicly available.” I told everyone who'd listen to go to the library. I learned an immeasurable amount during my corporate experience, traveled and had responsibility beyond my years. I made life long friends who are like family. Still, one day, I realized there was a reason I became a librarian, so without regret or hesitation, I resigned and accepted a position managing a research library. Five years passed and I realized that my happiest times had been spent working in a library - in academia! I actually missed students and the college atmosphere. That and the desire to be near my family in Florida brought me to the UF Health Science Center Library and eventually led me here to Santa Fe.

Here's the biggest bonus about being a librarian: you can write your own ticket. It is a VERY marketable set of skills. If you're able to relocate you can get a good job. If you have good experience you can pick where you work! Not many careers give you that flexibility today.

It is a good feeling of security, but more importantly, everyday, I know, feel and see firsthand that our SF library makes a positive difference in the life of this college. We support students, faculty and staff with everything we do. It is not about us, it is about helping others learn, evaluate information sources and enjoy a safe and comfortable place to study or hang out with friends.

I love what the library provides. I love what I do. I love working with people who care and feel the same way. How often do you have the good luck to be able to get paid for what you love to do? That's why I became a librarian and never stopped being one.

Scott TarboxScott Tarbox
Reference Librarian, Asst. Professor

Scott is reading Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Available at PS 3558 .E476 C3 1990

I graduated with a degree in Business Marketing. I went to work in sales and learned while I was good with the customers, I lacked the killer instinct to make a good living. I examined what my strengths are. My list included curiosity, I am good at writing, like helping people, I like having an expertise, like instructing, love learning and research.

I kept researching possible professions and made a direct hit when I read Careers in Information by Jane Spivak, the first essay was written by a librarian about their job. I now use all my experiences in business and other areas of my life to be a better librarian.

For the past 7 years I have been living my vocation in librarianship and have had continuous opportunities to grow and advance. I highly recommend this as a field, which combines customer service, information, and technology skills into a rewarding career.

Trenita WhiteTrenita White
Library Technical Assistant

Trenita is reading Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979 by Bettye Collier-Thomas
Available at BR 563 .N4 C64 1998

When I was in search of a job, there was a part-time opening here at Santa Fe Community College in the library at the circulation desk. I applied and was hired. Later on, I was hired full-time in Technical Services. During my years of working here in the library, I have learned various functions in the library. My experience has led to me working in the position of Technical Services Manager. In the near future, I plan to pursue a dual Master's degree in Library Science and Education.

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