This story is actually about me, Richard. I am currently 32 years old, and about four years ago, I was given the opportunity to work as a Reading Enrichment teacher at Maiden Middle School. The students that I taught were mainly either from broken homes or were academically and/or behaviorally challenged in their ability to read. I was also able to assist the academically gifted students that read the 15-20 books required in order to participate in the Battle of the Books program.

Working in a school library allowed me to see within myself that I wanted to be a librarian.

The library was a gateway that bridged the gap for me, my students, the faculty, and the parents. Because I experienced first-hand both ends of the reading competency spectrum, from the low performing behaviorally disabled students all the way up to the advanced Battle of the Books team that I co-sponsored, I saw within myself that I wanted to learn as much as I could about the library profession so that I could one day be able to provide an equal level of service to the general public.

Through this two-year long experience, I was able to see the true power of the library in the physical meeting space, the efforts of a combined pool of resources (money to fund the Reading Enrichment position, support staff to reinforce the school’s and my own efforts, and parental support from the students in the Battle of the Books team) in making the job and my own experiences possible. And finally, my own ability to see the importance of pursuing a career in libraries.

Libraries change lives

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