Librarian. Budding InfoPro. Dog walker. Expat for life.
Librarian — [lī brer′ē ən] n. 1. a person in charge of a library 2. a library worker trained in library science librarianship … English World dictionary
In my case, no. 2 applies. Why did I choose to become a librarian? I believe the desire lay dormant within me until I found myself in the position to be able to consider my lifetime passion of working with books. Our children had flown the nest, and as an expat in the strict confines of Middle Eastern society, I needed a new challenge. Teaching English (ESL) no longer held an appeal and I guess I was reaching upwards towards a higher rung (according to Maslow). I also needed a profession that would see me through the next 20 years of my life. There are so many possibilities for a trained information professional today.
I took the plunge in 2010 and enrolled at the distance learning University of South Africa. Initially, because of my age, I wondered how long I would last, but when I found myself enjoying every moment, I knew I was on the right path. Early in my course I made a conscious decision not to regard my age! That decision set me free and I often forgot, when interacting with fellow students, that they were 20 -30 years younger than I. Now, when I tell people in advance that I am a new librarian and pitch up to a meeting or a workshop, their expressions can be quite amusing. 😀
I was just reading a morning devotional delivered to my mobile…the writer, Ken, states that “great things grow from small beginnings”…eventually, he states, not merely growing into something you do, but who you are. I loved that. It struck a chord with me. However, I have always been a librarian at heart. When I was 6 in year 1, I played ‘library, library’ with my friends, writing their names on the inside cover of my books (much to my parentals’ horror) complete with return date as they borrowed them. I still have some of those books with my childish handwriting in them, listing the details. If we were near our belongings, I would’ve taken a photo for the blog, but with everything in storage in our home country, that isn’t possible. *sighs*
My training was a combination of Uni degree requirements (thank you faculty Information Science at UNISA.co.za); workshops and seminars via Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Library (my infinite appreciation to those institutions for their superb, free, PD offerings); Twitter for networking and PD. The training continues as I volunteer as an intern in Qatar-based libraries, and as a member of ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association), since 2015. As a personal goal I aspire to professional certification. More importantly, in the time that is left for me on this earth, I aspire to be a professional librarian – one who helps to enhance the public’s perception of a modern Information Professional.
A budding InfoPro – [in-fer-mey-shun pruh-fesh-uh-nl] strategically an “IP”uses information in his/her job to advance the mission of the organization…through the development, deployment, and management of information resources and services.
An IP harnesses technology as a critical tool to accomplish goals (SLA.org). Budding, because I will never have arrived at knowing it all. The Information Infrastructure, Knowledge Environment, Technology Landscape is too vast, and I’m yet paddling in the shallows with floaters on.
Dog-walker –[dawg-waw-ker] Literally, people…
…no hidden meaning here, regardless of the Urban Dictionary’s offerings. :p Yes, I am a dog-loving librarian. Cats are too uppity and offish for me. I simply love walking. What better way than to walk with a few canine friends.
Expat [/ˌɛksˈpæt/] (for life) n. 2. to withdraw (oneself) from residence in one’s native country. 3. to withdraw (oneself) from allegiance to one’s country. (dictionary.com)
South African by birth, lived in Qatar for 15 years from 2001, Australian at heart. Hopeful migrant to Australia as my heart remained there…with a grandchild who was born in 2015. I’ve heard it said that once an expat, an expat for life. May be true for me.
“The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.” Adam Gopnik (From the blog Department of Wandering).