5.27.16 – Here is news about one of the panelists participating in the upcoming Leaning Internatonal IRRT Program which is part of ALA 2016 . We are creating a list so we can all learn a little about each other and to help connect before, during, and after the program. However this information is for all librarians everywhere so feel free to connect via the blog or write me an e-mail.
Elana Grayson just completed her first year as the Middle School Librarian at Korea International School, Jeju Campus, a for-profit Nursery-12 American-style school on Jeju Island, South Korea. She currently provides services to just over 200, mostly Korean, middle school students and 40 international faculty. Previously, she was the only Librarian at The British International School of New York, a Nursery-8 for-profit independent International Baccalaureate school in Manhattan. She holds a Master in Library and Information Science degree from Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus.
I have always wanted to live and work abroad and recall making a list in high school of all the cities in which I hoped to live. During one of my library student teaching experiences, the Librarian told me about a friend of hers who worked in a DODEA library and I was hooked on the idea of international librarianship. I was lucky enough to land a US based international school job as my first full time position, which allowed me to put both international and IB experience on my resume.
After consulting with a few coworkers, I opted to sign up with Search Associates for my international job search. Overall, I was pleased with their system and will use them again for my next job hunt. However, I did not attend any Search fairs because they assigned me to one that had no library openings. Instead, I went to the Queen’s University fair where I was offered two positions, neither of which I took because I was offered my current position via Skype that same weekend.
I ended up in a place I’d never heard of in a country I never considered with no regrets. I love living abroad and have no plans to return to the US anytime soon. It finally feels like I’ve found my people. They understand the perpetual need to wander and all say they left previous positions “because it was time to move on.” They get it. I would recommend this experience to everyone though not every location fits every person. I have learned that while escaping from a city lifestyle is relaxing, there needs to be a certain amount of urban excitement for me to feel whole. But that is OK and I can’t wait to see where this career takes me next…