Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pam Temple - Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff

By Pam Temple

I never heard any kid say, "When I grow up I'M going to be a librarian," and I never expect to hear it. I was going to be a teacher or a nurse, but "librarian" just wasn't on the radar. What I did love to do was read.  On a rainy day, I was content to pull off a volume of the World Book Encyclopedia and browse, stopping to read an article when something caught my interest. In high school, my home room was the library, and it was great. I found and read all kinds of interesting books on biology, archaeology, history, and geography, to name a few.  It was like a smorgasbord of knowledge. That's the other thing about me, I want to KNOW things, how something gets made, how something works, why people are the way they are, how to survive a natural disaster, etc., etc. Many times as a reference librarian, I would help a student find some information they needed for a speech, a paper, whatever. They would leave, but I'd still be researching because, now, I wanted to know. That's the third thing about me, I like to help people find answers to their questions. Choosing librarianship as a lifetime career turned out to be a lucky choice because it is a perfect fit for me.

I went to college at Middle Tennessee State University majoring in history and minoring in English, French, and secondary education. After college, I wasn't sure that teaching was for me and someone suggested, "Well, since you love to read so much, why don't you go to Library School." I applied to the School of Library Science at George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, it's now part of Vanderbilt, and was accepted. Luckily, I was awarded a Title IIB grant that paid my way so I could actually attend. While there, we were asked to select an area of concentration and I chose college and university libraries.  The rest, as they say, is history. I worked at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and Converse College, a liberal arts college for women, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, but, the bulk of my working career has been here at Chattanooga State Community College. I've seen a lot of changes in the 36 years I've spent here; and, in many respects, it has been a wild ride. I've loved every minute of it.

We all have many roles in our lives.  I have been, or still am, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, Methodist, potter, Sunday School teacher, volunteer, leader, teacher, and librarian. Being a librarian has been one of the most defining roles for my life allowing me to: help my family, help other people, continue to learn, and understand and have compassion for the needs of other people. I have been very fortunate in my life work, and I hope all of you are as fortunate in yours.

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