Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Elisabeth Ferguson - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff
By Elisabeth Ferguson
A word of advice to current college students: don’t be like me! Somehow I went through my whole college career without really considering that I would have to get a job at the end of those four years. I majored in history with a concentration in Latin American studies, which did not lead me directly to a particular career path. I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher, and I quickly realized that pursuing graduate work in history was not practical for me.
After graduation I worked at several part-time jobs that helped me figure out a few more things that I didn’t want to do, but I was no closer to a career path. When I saw a job opening at the public library, I thought, “I can do that!” I have always liked to read, and I had the skills in research, technology, and customer service the job required. I soon learned that while liking books is helpful, a successful public librarian also needs flexibility, empathy, good problem solving skills, and a sense of humor. I have often thought that being a librarian is a little like being a bartender—you meet all kinds of people (from the coolest to the craziest) and listen to their problems and stresses. Sometimes you are able to help them work through their problems, which makes it a very rewarding job.
Pursuing my Masters in Information Science and taking on different position within libraries has helped me to grow and progress in my career in ways I wouldn’t have envisioned as an undergrad student. For example, although I never wanted to be a teacher, teaching is an integral part of my job here at Chattanooga State, and I enjoy it. The library plays a crucial role in helping students achieve academic and personal success, and I’m thankful to be a part of it. I would have saved myself some stress if I had thought more seriously about career options as a college student, but I don’t regret the path I took—I’m happy I ended up here!