6.25.16 –

Dear Readers,

On the eve of my attending the ALA-IRRT session Leaning International I wanted to share an e-mail I just received. In my many years of travel, I have seen this story many times.  Occasionally I have been able to help, more often not.  There are many deserving folks out there who would so appreciate an opportunity.  As one of the reasons for this blog is to try and help librarians everywhere achieve their dreams, I asked this writer if she would be willing for me to post her story.

She agreed and also added that what she really dreams about is becoming an archivist.  This story has received no editing, she is a polished writer and obvious hard worker.  If anyone out there in my readership is able to provide some guidance or advice please post a comment or write to me and I will connect you directly with the writer.

Thanks for reading and being interested, Sarah P.

Hello Sarah,

I am [x], a 23 year old Filipino working as a Marketing Executive in [x], and I dream of becoming a librarian. I know right? It seems funny, why would a Marketing Executive want to be a librarian in the first place? All my friends think I’m joking whenever I tell them this.
Anyway, the reason I’m here now writing to you is that I need some serious advice on how to change career paths. I’m quite desperate and sad actually, because everyone seems to think I will be wasting my life when I have a perfectly good job in a respectable company. But the thing is, I’m not happy with my career at all, and its not because of the salary or career growth or my boss.
Here’s a little backstory of my life:
I graduated with a degree in Communication Arts back in the Philippines, and I got an offer for an international company as a Marketing officer. The offer was good, and my mother eventually persuaded me to accept the job. That time all I thought was that I could help my parents with the household bills and stuff, as most Asian countries have tight family ties and culture. So for two years, I worked there. Then last year, I moved to [x] for an offer as a Marketing Executive in a reputable Sports Retail Company. This time, it was not my mother who persuaded me. I chose to accept the offer because my father has last stage cancer and we need all the money we can get.

But sadly, my father died last November 2015. And now, it’s as if my family responsibilities have lifted a little. Like I’m not that required to give money as often to my family back in the Philippines. So now that everything is quite settled, I thought, why not pursue what I really wanted once and for all?

I am an avid reader, or should I say more like a need, because I literally can’t sleep without reading a chapter or two of some new book I found interesting to read. So now that I am free to pursue a work related to my passion, I’m left with the question, “how am I supposed to work in the library?” I have no experience at all in library related matters. Back in college, I tried applying as a volunteer in our school library, but instead I was transferred to the Marketing Communications Office because they could use my social and communication skills better there.
So now I’m left with this predicament. I want to start pursuing a career as a librarian but I don’t know where to start. Plus my friends aren’t helping that much either.
Please tell me what I can do. And thank you for reading this.
All the best, [x]
And, in response to my questions…
  • As for what kind of librarian I want, I wanted to be an archivist/ archives librarian. I just love old books and documents and I wanted to be part of preserving it — to be part of preserving history, of books and documents long forgotten and share it to the world is something I know I will be proud of doing. 
  • With regards to the graduate school, I have also given a serious thought about that. I actually think that this will also be my best option since I am technically starting from scratch. Actually, I also kind of wanted to study history. Previously, I have researched on places I can study history, and the best so far was the University of Vienna in Austria, since I have a lot of relatives living there. Plus I think i will be able to handle the expenses since they have low tuition fees, and I can always work there while studying. I was just wondering, will a masters degree in history also make me viable as an archivist?

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