_masthead Centennial Library | Cedarville University
Male student takes notes in class

Centennial Library

March 28, 2017

Lauren Yost, a junior Linguistics major, is doing a Library Career Exploration with us this semester. In this post, she shares some of her experiences…

In November, I attended the library careers dinner as someone with many interests and a short-term sense of direction (and also as someone who likes free food, if we’re being completely honest). I did not know just how significant that dinner would be in shaping the next few months. As each presenter displayed her own experiences with library science, I realized just how diverse and unique of a field that it is. It so perfectly combined my interests, passions, and skills in a way that I did not know possible.

I had considered library science before, but for the first time, it made sense for me. So, in an impulse decision I emailed Julie Deardorff, expressing my interest in participating in a Career Exploration. I did not know exactly what it would look like, but I knew I had time and I wanted to know more. We sat down at the start of the new semester and made a plan.

Because of my interest in public libraries, I split my time between Centennial Library and the Cedarville branch of the Greene County Public Library. While on campus, I got a thorough preview of library basics. Julie gave me a tour of the whole library, introducing me to all the faculty and staff along the way. I later got to work with some of them individually, learning about serials, circulation, collection development, acquisitions, and other related tasks. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the ins-and-outs of what it takes to run a library and desired to get my hands on more.

In contrast with the more practical, seemingly mundane side of libraries, I also got to explore the more relational, creative side. I was able to assist Sharon Kerestes in preparing for the Blind Date with a Book program, taking me all the way back to my days of reading YA fiction for hours on end. It was so exciting getting to see the end result of that work a couple weeks later. I also spent a morning at the public library talking with Liz Anderson, who was in charge of a wood painting event going on that morning. I was able to help set up and then actually participate, really getting a unique view of library programming from both the outside and the inside. I wrapped up my time of Career Exploration by creating a book display, which aside from being just plain fun, also exposed me to more of the wonderful collection we have on campus.

I also had opportunities to have “next steps” conversations with Sue Jeffrey at the public library and Kirsten Setzkorn here on campus. These conversations, along with other smaller ones I had with each of the librarians with which I interacted, really confirmed that library science was a field I wanted to pursue. Additionally, each librarian had a different story of how she got to where she is now. For some, like Sue and Liz, it was more of a second career; for others, like Kirsten, it was a first. Each librarian had her own unique path to library science with seemingly (at first) unrelated experience and different times of positions and graduate work. This was incredibly encouraging to me, knowing that I was not already behind in entering the field and that my other experiences can only benefit a future career.

I came into this Career Exploration program and each individual meeting with no idea what to expect or even what kinds of questions to ask; it was a literal exploration for me. I left with a clearer understanding of the field of library science and how I might fit into it. As my time has now come to a close, I am excited about all the possibilities and cannot wait to learn and discover more.

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