This week, I interview the lovely Jill Seidenstein of Seattle, who blogs at Slow Bloom.
1: What were your reasons for becoming a librarian?
When I was finishing up college, I went to a career counselor, did their tests and the only thing I can remember from that process was librarian or archivist. At the time I was disgusted. I wanted to work with people! It turned out librarians do work with people. Shows how much I knew. When considering whether or not to go to grad school, the dean of the program said, “If you like helping people and have an affinity for information, you will be happy in this profession.”
2: What aspects of the job have challenged and delighted you?
For the entirety of my professional career I’ve worked in e-commerce. The biggest challenges come with the technical limitations of any system. There are things I would love to be able to do, but can’t because the system can’t support it. The delight always comes down to the people I work with.
3: In what way does being a librarian benefit your creative process?
I am not sure at all how they connect! I think my personality and curiosity and desire to understand how things connect, play out in my creative process and my career. I’m still trying to figure out how to organize the information in my stories, though!
SET THE SCENE: Please describe the experience of being in a library… You approach a building bigger than a house. As you enter, you are struck by the quiet within the space. People sit at computers, people rest in chairs reading books, people talk in hushed voices with librarians. But the most magnificent thing are the shelves and shelves and shelves of books. More books than you can read in a lifetime. Books about anything and everything – from books that tell you how to cook, to books that will take you to far away places in your imagination.
. . .
Libraries can be a place of sanctuary, learning and exploring. I took these photos at the Birmingham City Library, England; to highlight my favourite aspects of the building. Featured here from the top are the the glass elevator, rooftop garden and Shakespeare room. What libraries do you enjoy exploring? Share in the comments!
My thanks to Jill for agreeing to this interview.
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All photos copyright © Louise Ann Knight