By Danielle Knowles
My journey didn’t start out so well. I headed off to Berry College with my ripped jeans and 80s head banger t-shirt with the idea of majoring in Interior Design. Anyone who knows me now seriously laughs about that. I proceeded to get myself on academic and disciplinary probation. I flunked out in a most spectacular way. I learned a lot in that first year of college away from home, just not what I was supposed to learn.
After taking the summer off and evaluating my options, I found my way to Chattanooga State Technical Community College. The tuition was affordable (I would be paying this time) and my Dad lived in town and would let me use his car. I did very well in the community college atmosphere and had some of the best instructors I’ve ever had. I did a complete turnaround from my previous year and got on the Dean’s List.
After Chatt State, I moved on to South Carolina to major in Marine Biology, which morphed into Biology when I discovered I got sea sick. However, it was my work study job on campus that helped me decide what I wanted to be. While working in the library as a student, I decided this was what I wanted to do. I didn’t even know you could go to school to become a librarian. Once that was decided, my supervisor let me work in each and every department of the library to gain as much experience as possible before I headed off to grad school. I was hooked.
I decided on the University of Tennessee for my MLS degree with a goal of being a science reference librarian. The closest I got to that was in a library at a chiropractic school. I have since worked for a library vendor doing software support and as a circulation supervisor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I had hit a dead end at UAH and started the job hunt again when I came across the posting for systems librarian at Chattanooga State. The job was a perfect fit for my skills and how cool would it be to work at the school where I got my do-over and had such a wonderful experience?
I’ve been at Chattanooga State for just over two months now, and I know I made the right move. I hope that my work here will make a difference for someone just as Chattanooga State made a difference for me.
Danielle’s community participation:
Member - American Library Association
Member - Library Information Technology Association