Yesterday, I was offered the position of Library Assistant for the Carver County (MN) Library, which I was thrilled to accept. Though I have served as ad hoc support to school library and media centers on many occasions, this is my first real library job and I could not be more excited to start putting what I’ve studied about library operations into practice (and no doubt unlearning a lot of what I thought I knew in the process).
If there’s a lesson so far, it’s that persistence pays off. This was my third year running to apply to the county for an assistant position, and it was rather surreal seeing the employment offer land in my inbox with the same distinctive and familiar formatting of messages that have shot me down many times before. Hence I am curiously grateful to the legions of literary editors who have sent me rejection slips and taught me thereby that even good editors sometimes turn down good work, and that there is no shame in sending out twenty-five, or fifty, or a hundred submissions to get one acceptance letter, especially when you are first starting out. Years sending out poems and essays thus taught me personally what I heard as a child from my photographer father—that you have to shoot five hundred photos to get the one the magazine will print. (And who says we don’t need arts in schools?)
Well, now I have an acceptance, and while a library assistant may not yet be a full-fledged librarian, I might at least be indulged so far as to take the word “aspiring” off the front of “information professional”. Or maybe not, because the day that I stop aspiring will be the day I no longer merit to be called an information professional. I have only the dimmest blue before me of the mountains I will climb, but they grow closer, and every step covers a little more ground when a vote of confidence helps you stand tall.