Why I am in jail

I was tagged by Beth Tribe to expand on a FriendFeed  thread about how we ended up in libraries.  So, here’s my story:

I’ve always loved reading and that likely explains why I like libraries, but has little to do with why I am here.  I decided when I was in 6th grade that I was going to be a teacher.  After that decision was made, I never really thought about doing anything else.  I went off to the University of Kentucky and declared elementary education as my major.  The first couple of education classes were great.  I enjoyed the hour here and there that I spent in the classroom and had good grades in the education classes.  When I got to the semester before student teaching, I was spending 2 days a week at an elementary school.  I quickly realized that I didn’t like kids enough to spend all day in a room full of them and also that I wasn’t very good at teaching them.

The year before this, I needed a part time job.  I put in an application to work at the university library and received a call to go talk to the head of the periodicals department.  She  asked me to go get my application from the library administration before the interview.   The library administration told me my application had been pulled by the circulation department already, so i headed over to get it from them.  The circulation department head told me then that he wanted to hire me and that I would be happier working there than I would in periodicals.  Not really caring about the department, I said OK and accepted the job.  After a year there, I became the Sunday night supervisor.  I really loved the job and the people in the department.

When I reached the crisis point of knowing I could never be a teacher, my adviser saw how much I loved the library and suggested I look into getting an MLS.  I discovered that I was only a few credits away from a degree in communications, so I switched majors, got the BS in Communications and when on to get an MLS from the University of Kentucky.

I worked in market research for a year while getting me degree and started looking for a library job when it was time to move to Maryland for my wife’s job.  My first two library job were with a temp agency.  I was placed at a law firm across from the White House for a couple of weeks and then did a week at the World Bank.  My one and only full time job offer was with the Maryland State Correctional System as a contract employee.  I spent a miserable year there and then started looking for a new job with benefits.  I interviewed several places and ended up back in jail, this time with Howard County Library at the county jail.  Thirteen years later, I am still in what at the time I thought would be a nice in between job before getting out of jail for good.

As for why I am still here, part of it is that I have not been offered any other jobs I have applied for in the system, but also because I really do believe I am helping people each and every day.

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