A Late Starter

By Penny Guy. Penny works 2 days a week in the Children’s and Teen’s team and one day a week on the Reference Desk at Tauranga Library.

I was a bookworm as a child and my bookcase was always neatly arranged alphabetically by author surname but I never considered becoming a librarian. I did very well at school so it was taken for granted that I would go to university. Thinking back, I probably didn’t see librarianship as an occupation that required a university education. My first thought was to become a vet but I also considered architecture and occupational therapy before going back to my first choice – vet school. I graduated but having married someone who wasn’t a vet whilst at university created problems when looking for a job. Travel and pregnancy also complicated matters and by my early 40’s I was looking ahead to my youngest son starting school and wondering what I would do. Being a vet no longer seemed like an option. I had been the librarian at our Playcentre for several years and so my thoughts started leading in the direction of becoming a children’s librarian. Before making the decision I got a book out of the library  that contained a number of aptitude tests to help you decide on a career. According to the tests I should become an actress, an author, a theatre critic, a school teacher . . . or a librarian. Once my youngest started school I enrolled with the Open Polytechnic and started studying. After a couple of years I started applying for jobs. The first job I applied for was a position in circulation and I didn’t even get an interview! But I persisted and after 5 applications I was sucessful and obtained a part-time position as a Information librarian. A couple of years later I was shifted to the children and teens team for 2 of my 3 days and feel that I am definitely in the right place – I even get to use my acting skills and writing skills and work with school children!

Share your path to librarianship.


  1. Jac Jenkins says:

    Funnily enough, I am an ex-vet librarian too!

  2. Isn’t it cool that you get to use all so many of the skills the aptitude test identified in one awesome job!

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