Friday, October 12, 2018
Andrea Kincaid - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff
By Andrea Kincaid
It is often assumed that librarians become librarians because they like to read, and they spend their work day reading books or checking out books. Indeed, I’ve been asked, “you went to graduate school to learn how to check out books?” Well, it’s true that I love to read, and that love is what drew me to libraries as a child and later, as a college student.
I was the first in my family to attend college, so I didn’t have any guidance or inside knowledge about navigating higher education. However, I had at least one familiar place on campus – the library. Little did I know, I would be required to do actual research for my classes, and though I was comfortable spending time in the library, I didn’t know how to use databases or do any type of research. I was quite terrified! Eventually, I worked up the nerve to ask the librarians for help.
College for me became like Hogwarts was to Harry Potter – a home and a place to be myself. I graduated with honors and went to graduate school for political science. I knew I wanted to work in higher ed and thought I might be a professor. I ended up not liking my program, so I took a few years off to help my dad run his business while I thought about where my home in higher ed might be. One day, as I was visiting my local public library and chatting with the staff, I thought back to the librarians who helped me with research at college, and thought, hey, I could do that!
At the age of 29, I entered graduate school again, this time for Library and Information Studies. I have had so many library adventures – a fellowship at the Library of Congress, planning a statewide professional association conference, mentoring new librarians. My favorite thing about this job is working with students, alleviating their anxiety about research, and seeing their moment of realization that they can do this thing and they do belong here!