Monday, October 01, 2007

Were you ugly and unpopular in high school?

Is that what made you become a librarian?

[Librarians tended to be the unpopular kids growing up and as adults the job becomes their 24/7 identity, hence the offense at any slight and the need to tell the whole blinking world that they are a LIBRARIAN. Yeah, whatever............."
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Is this reader correct? Are all those self-promotional library bloggers compensating for being unpopular geeks as children? Is it sort of like all those novels and movies that seem to have spindly unpopular writers as romantic leads?

In a word, no. I was an ugly little toad, two years younger than my fellow high schoolers, and this rather isolated me. My parents were getting a divorce so I probably had an air of neglect, like an unmade bed. Long smooth hair was the fashion, and I had an unruly curly mop. And I was lousy at sports, being extremely near-sighted. Gym class was agony. People were always throwing balls at me and I never saw them coming.

But I always knew there was a world beyond high school. I always thought it pitiful that some kids thought these were the best years of their lives--who wants to feel that their eighteenth year was the pinnacle of their existence, and it's all downhill from there?

Mother finally got a grip during my senior year and took me to an optometrist, who fitted me for corrective lenses.

Did I want to be a librarian? Hell, no! I wanted to be an actress, writer, artist, singer, or any combination of the above. My plans included hanging around European capitals acting jaded and sophisticated.

College provided the opportunity to try all the above things (sadly, not the European capitals), so I loved it to pieces. I also loved being away from home. Sixteen and grown up at last!

Fast forward ten years. I am now somebody's mom, two somebodies in fact. When the children went to school all day, I needed a job. No one would hire me. I did get the local newspaper to print an article of mine about how to run a garage sale, but that was about it. So I sought further education. I did not actually dread the idea of working in a library, so I went to a library school that the State of New York had conveniently placed about a mile up the road. The die was cast.

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