By Sabine Weber-Beard, love a challenge and reading books in all formats.
I always was around books. Mum was a teacher and books and reading was part of growing up. When I was 11 I changed schools and moved up to the Gymnasium. I grew up in Germany. This WerkGymnasium was a new model and the building itself was brand new and looked to us more like a space station than a school. The difference to other Gymnasiums was school was only held Monday-Friday, so none at Saturday. We had school every afternoon instead. Hot lunch was served every day and lunch time activities were provided. The impressive part was a brand new library that had the most fascinating gadgets including listening devices and viewing posts. This library was not a school library but an outpost of the existing town library incorporated into the school building. The librarian was a Frau Chaudari. We all fell in love with her. She had the broadest swabian dialect, a huge welcoming smile for all and she could answer all our questions. Her gorgeous kids all went to school with us and it was a privilege to be friends with them. I think I spent more time at that library having fun in lunch hours then studying for any subjects.
When I left school I did a practical year in a Kindergarten as I decided to become a teacher like mum. Then I went and spent a year in England as an au-pair. Coming back I then studied in Freiburg and passed my teaching degrees. I worked for 2 years and decided to study psychology. I wanted more.
Those years I spent plenty of times in different libraries. Never did I think of becoming a librarian.
Before the internship some friends and I made plans to travel for a year. That is how I ended up in New Zealand; falling in love and marrying… One of the first things I did was get a library card. Over the years I sold my crafts in an art shop, worked at the day care centre, taught in the local school and then 12 years ago started volunteering at the Kerikeri library when car issues kept me in town to wait for my daughter to finish school. This also made me volunteer at the local Kaeo library. It was mostly older volunteers and when the automation service was introduced I trained all these volunteers as I had used the system in the Kerikeri library already. When one of the librarians in Kerikeri retired they pushed me to fill out an application form. I thought why not. But I did not get that job and was devastated.
By that time I was also a paid casual and had helped out a few times at the Kaikohe Library. There was another job going at this library and on the last day I put in my application for that job only to humour some of my friends. It came as huge surprise that I got an interview and then a few days later the call that I had the job.
That is the best thing that ever happened and I tell everyone one who wants to listen that I have the best job in the world. Over the years I have run holiday projects, organized the Children’s Day activities, worked on library floats for Christmas parades, coordinated school visits and read story times. Of course it included all the general tasks of working in a library with cki/cko, collection development and care and customer service. I got asked to take over the library systems admin as I was curious enough to want to solve problems and not just comment on them. Then it was made into a proper job.
And nowadays I also manage two libraries. One of these days I will finish my Level 7 diploma with OP. I love getting up early, going to work and making a difference.