“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –A.A. Milne
What do you want to be when you grow up? A librarian. This has been my answer ever since I was eleven. The teacher librarian at my primary school inspired me then and still does. So with that deep conviction I didn't think anything more about it until high school when I had my first career night. On this night I tracked down the representative promoting this profession and spent hours there finding out all there was to know…
From high school I went to university and completed a Bachelor of Arts, then because there were no Librarianship studies offered in Newcastle, I came to Sydney and completed a Graduate Diploma in Library Science.
Okay so far so good....everything was going as planned then I tried to get a job. All through my working life I am so grateful for the Library Managers who have been prepared to take a chance and it was because of my beginning that I ended up in special libraries. The librarian at a stockbroking library who took on a young librarian with no work experience, the librarian at a lead and zinc smelter who saw my potential, the librarian at a private independent school who could see the knowledge I would bring to her library.
In 2007 I decided that I needed a change after 20 years in special libraries, also deep down I wanted to see if I could be a teacher-librarian (TL). I resigned from my job and back to full-time university I went - completing a Bachelor of Teaching through UTS, what a roller coaster ride! Going back to study was a huge shock, as was trying to get a job without any TL experience (a déjà vu moment) and stepping into a world going through massive changes in technology.
If my older self was to tap my younger self on the shoulder and tell her what she would experience in the future I would have said "Don't be ridiculous". What would prepare you for the rate of change I have seen since becoming a TL? The world of BYOD ( bring your own device), the flipped classroom, social media as a teaching and learning tool, ebooks and the great information overload that is the Internet.
So....to finish I think the only way to sum up my professional working life so far is to use this quote
"The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different".
Jacinta Ebbott is a teacher-librarian at an independent Catholic school in Sydney.
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