The Windy Road I Took To Get To My Career

By Justin, I’m a big and tall Library Assistant with the Hutt City Libraries. I’ve got a love of digital, technology, pop culture, books and sharing my interests.

Like a lot of members of the library community I spent my childhood in love with books, I was a library assistant in high school and spent a fairly crazy amount of time in primary school wedged between the shelves of our tiny library. I was a country child and our school only had one bus so, along with about five or six other children, I had to wait for around an hour for the single bus to return and take us home. Luckily we were allowed into the library where we could create all manner of stories amongst the the paperbacks and hardbacks, I developed a love of science fiction and fantasy along with my love of the mystique of the library.

At home things were not so clear cut though, my father didn’t approve of me being a bookish nerdy child and did everything he could to discourage it. For a long time reading was a secret pleasure for me. Even today its full of weird emotions, I race through books, devour them, it must be finished before I am caught. It’s lucky then that books are not ALL we do.

My working life has led me through almost every avenue of the service/retail industry and it was only after someone compared my work in a video library to work in an actual library that I even considered the career I’m in now. It was only after I started did I see how much I’d been missing and how all my skills could be brought to bear on the day to day in a public library. I’ve now finished my Level 5 Diploma in Library and Information Studies through the Open Polytechnic, pretty soon I’ll start my Level 6. Its scary and I’m not a great student, but this is where my heart lies.

Readers advisory is my real passion, and extending it beyond books is something I love to do. Did you enjoy this book? Try the movie, what was different? Heard this album? Why not listen to it while reading and tell me what a difference it makes? It always made me sad to SELL people things when I really just wanted to GIVE them to them, TAKE this book your payment is to come back and tell me how much you love it.

We all know retail (brick and mortar shops mostly) is dying but where does all that SERVICE go? We connect to the community and spread the virus of imagination in ways shops, retailers, peddlers of stuff never could. We may be more than books, we may be activities and engagement and learning and the beating heart of a community. But we are also a job where we get to tell people how cool stuff is FOR A LIVING.

Share your path to librarianship.