Community

These last few days have been a whirlwind of interviews. For my second term of AmeriCorps, I knew I wanted to work in a library or as part of a specific library program. I interviewed at two different public libraries, as well as an English exchange program for one of the county’s public library. As I made my way through the different floors of each library and weaved my way in and out of stacks and patrons, I felt a sense of reassurance that this is where I need to be. This aspect of the interviews did not surprise me. The surprising part of each interview was the overwhelming support and enthusiasm from all six of my interviewers once they glanced over my resume and realized I had begun my MLIS studies. Job shadowing and networking opportunities came tumbling forth, as well as an onslaught of business cards. All of them made me promise that whether or not I was placed at their site, I would stay in contact with them and reach out to them if I needed any help. It made my decision so difficult to make, because I wanted to work with all of them.

Ultimately, though, I chose to work in Palm Beach County Public Library’s English Exchange program. I will be traveling to six different libraries in the county teaching two-hour conversational English classes that are offered free of charge to the public. I’m a little intimidated because, while I’ve tutored one-on-one and TA’d for a college course, I’ve never taught my own class. I will be in complete control over lesson-planning and course instruction, as well as teaching beginning level computer courses. As nervous as I am, I think I made the right decision in challenging myself. The networking opportunities that will come from working in six different public libraries won’t hurt, either.

The encouragement that I encountered from my future-peers was especially nice to hear after reading this post in the Hack Library School’s blog that is by and for students. There are always going to be Negative Nellies, but it’s good to know that in a crowd of doubters there will also always be gems to be found.

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