This semester, I’m doing my capstone project, which includes being an intern at an elementary school library in town.

This was my first week going to the school, and today, now that some of the uncertainty of a new location, new people, and new responsibilities has worn off a bit, I find myself wanting to skip and sing with joy.

It is a little bit scary to get a degree in something you don’t have a lot of experience in. It’s kind of frightening to pay thousands of dollars to go to school, without knowing for absolute certain that you’ll love what you’re going to do when you’ve finished paying all that money and going to all those classes.

Now I know.

I love working in a school library.

Today I checked in books, helped kids find the King Tut biographies they wanted, participated in three or four story times, filled out a book order (could anything be more awesome than placing an order for 155 books? No), and read several books. I enjoyed every moment of the three hours I spent in the library this morning.

It’s my first week, of course. I know there will be days when I want to tear my hair out, but over all, I am brimming with joy, more anxious than ever to graduate and to get to work.

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  • Reply Shelly January 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    That sounds like a fantastic job! Congrats!

  • Reply emily kate January 29, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I have always thought it would be fantastic to be a school librarian! My two loves: teaching kids and BOOKS! I adore my elementary school librarian. I remember when she took me aside during our classroom library time to suggest that I read Sarah Plain and Tall, which was an “older” book than my grade level. I was so proud and I adored, and still do adore, that book!

    I’m totally jealous.

  • Reply Jodi January 29, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    It’s such a great feeling to know that you actually like doing whatever it is you’ve been working for! I just finished my internship for my degree and I remember the day I had the same feeling. I kept thinking that maybe, after a few weeks, the sparkles would fall off and I would really see what it was like. I’m happy that I never felt like I chose the wrong major or career and there was never a day of regret. I hope you have the same feeling at the end of your internship!

  • Reply Packrat January 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Super! May you always love it. When I was a reading aide I always enjoyed library duty. (Small school; usually no librarian.)

  • Reply Elizabeth January 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    It sounds awesome. I am way jealous.

  • Reply karmacoy January 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    This post is glowing with your radiant enthusiasm! It’s a nice feeling. I could feel it too and I’m excited for you.

    I’ve been a preschool teacher for almost 20 years now and while I still enjoy my job, (most days!) the shininess has worn off a bit. Reading my favourite stories to preschoolers is still just about the best part of my job!

  • Reply Jeanelle January 29, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I wanted to skip and sing with joy just READING this post. I love that you are so happy with your chosen profession. That is such an accomplishment! And as a girl who spent all of her free time in libraries as I was growing up, thank you! The world needs more sweet, kind and helpful librarians!!

  • Reply Kimberly January 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    That fear you mentioned is the #1 reason I’m not in graduate school right now. I admire anyone who can plunge ahead, doubts aside or included, and choose. Go, Janssen! You’re welcome to be my kids’ school librarian any day.

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy January 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Yeah! My BFF from my senior year in high school was our librarian. She helped us prep our sterling scholar portfolios, always looked the other way when we skipped other classes to go to “study hall” with our friends, proctored our AP exams with lots of smiles and encouraging winks, helped us with all the technical and AV equipment for drama, listened to any gripe or issue we had, and was generally one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

    I’m not sure if she helped me find any books though . . . at that point I was too busy with a finger in everything else to read for pleasure, but no doubt she would have been fantastic that way too.

  • Reply Merrick January 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Dang..I couldn’t remember what day you said you were going to start. Otherwise I would have asked this morning when I talked to you! I’m lame.

    Anyway, glad you had such an awesome day! Every time I imagine you in a library I imagine it in the Green Valley Library. So close to my heart 🙂

  • Reply emandtrev January 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    That sounds fantastic! I was actually just thinking about how I used to love to “peer tutor” in the library (when I was in middle school) at the local elementary. I agree with emily kate who said she adored her elementary school librarian. I was the same way. Yay for you!

  • Reply Gretchen January 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    That is so cool! I’m hoping to work in a city library myself.

  • Reply auntie January 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    you are SO lucky to have a job that you LOVE! my job is ok, but i’ve never felt passionate about it AT ALL. one of these days i’ll be able to quit and watch bugs bunny cartoons for a living. what? someone totally needs to do that, and it might as well be me.

  • Reply Linda January 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Can I share a little of my teaching experience? I taught elementary school for 3 years (3 different schools in 3 different states, not to mention a student teaching experience in New Zealand). From my experience, anywhere you go you will have happy, blissful, “this child will never forget me” days and everywhere you go you will have not so good “what is the point” days. However, where you are can significantly impact the ratio. So, be wise in your decisions-that’s my advice. Oh, and take lots of notes on every little thing the successful librarians you see do. Set up, procedure, management. I’m sure you already know that, but the more ideas you have when you’re out on your own, the better. And, finally, I have a friend that teaches in DC if you ever want to talk to someone who knows the area. Sorry about the unsolicited advice, and good luck–teaching kids is awesome!

  • Reply heidikins January 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Love it! I’m so happy you love it too!


    (I say “I love it” like I actually know…I don’t. I’ve never worked in a library. However I can only imagine it is awesome to the 17th degree.)

  • Reply Douglas Carl January 29, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    That’s great. It is a huge thing to have a job that is fun and rewarding. It makes a big difference if you want to go to work instead of dread going. I’ve had that enjoyable position for a long time now, although, it’s not that rewarding right at this point, and, now that I think about it, not that fun.

    I wonder what Bart will find that when he starts working. It seems like it may not be “fun” in the beginning, but we’ll see.

  • Reply Jenny January 30, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Funny–I LOVE LOVE the library, no matter WHERE it is… but NEVER did I picture myself EVER wanting to work in one! My husband has always pictured me working there, and I find that kind of amusing. My love for books stops at the role of patron. But I DO appreciate a courteous and helpful librarian! Enjoy!

  • Reply Lisa January 30, 2009 at 2:26 am

    I’m glad you love it. I wish I had a job I loved.

  • Reply chelon:) January 30, 2009 at 2:46 am

    good luck! sounds like fun 🙂

    it should be great birth control too 😉

  • Reply craftyashley January 30, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Wow! I’m glad to hear you love it so much. There IS nothing worse than getting a degree and find out you don’t like it. (my scenario! Easiest bailout? Having kids and being a SAHM-LOL)

  • Reply Monica January 30, 2009 at 5:33 am

    I am sooo happy to hear that. I have the same feelings regarding teaching. Right now I am sitting scared out of my mind because tomorrow morning I am facing a room full of Seniors–man, are they intimidating… I hope I have the same experience as you.

  • Reply Whitney January 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    As far as I know you, this sounds like the perfect job for you. I’m glad you love it! 😀

  • Reply Noelle January 30, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    How fun. I can totally see you in a school library, reading to all the kids. You’re going to be so great.

  • Reply Riverside Women January 30, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I’m glad for you Janssen. I’ve spent some time in school libraries lately, and it really can be a lot of fun. I hope you continue to enjoy your internship.

  • Reply Mad Hadder January 31, 2009 at 5:42 am

    So I did that for nine blissful years. BEST job in the world. I pulled teeth out, wiped noses, made a fool of myself doing voices of all manner, rocked kids in a big chairs, foundered on ordering books, dressed up in zany costumes, talked to puppets on the end of my hand like they had souls, read 8 million wonderful books, and got a pay check too!! Make sure you do a book museum. It will impress your superiors and is a heck of a lot of fun. Email for details. Make sure you settle in a state that hasn’t massacred the state of library-ness…

  • Reply Rhiannon January 31, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Very cool!

    My capstone (do many schools do this? I don’t think so) was in Public Relations for Non-Profits and I learned SO MUCH and really had a lot of fun doing it.

  • Reply Amy Sorensen February 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I read this a few days ago and have been meaning to come back and post a comment. I went to school with the intention of teaching English, and I did it, but it wasn’t a career I, personally, could cope with. I loved, loved the actual teaching part, but, well, let’s just say that whoever said teaching was a great job for moms either wasn’t a teacher or wasn’t a mom! I went through a time of questioning all my education, but I finally decided that the knowledge itself, and the experience of getting it, was its own reward. Then I stumbled upon my library job and, you know, I have found a PERFECT fit. I love, love working at the library and I know once you’ve found a permanent spot some where, you’ll love it too!

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