For the record

Some of you are curious, so for the record:

  • I turned 35 two weeks ago.
  • I passed up my first chance at tenure by leaving Rockford College; I would have been tenured by 32.
  • Instead, I was tenured and then Management/Confidential at SUNY Potsdam at 33.
  • I’ve been in the profession since 1994 — 17 years.   I’ve only had one job outside of academic libraries, ever.
  • I’ve had my MLIS since 2001 — 10 years this spring.
  • I started supervising student staff when I was 19, as student staff myself.
  • I started supervising more than 30 student staff when I was 22, as full-time support staff.
  • I started supervising multiple full-time staff when I was 25, in my first MLS-required job.
  • I started coordinating the work of other librarians when I was 27.
  • I started managing budgets when I was 25, in my first MLS-required job.
  • I started freelance consulting and training when I was 26, one year post-MLS.
  • I presented at my first local conference when I was 28, and my first national one when I was 32.
  • I published my first article when I was 30.
  • I’ve been blogging for a decade.

Each and every one of those milestones was scary, and challenging, and I didn’t feel “ready” for any of them. Each and every person is going to hit their own marks at their own pace, and in their own order.  My path is just one path, and my choices were about my life and my goals and my challenges.  Do what works for you… but do something.  The possibilities are infinite.  Don’t let fear stop you from doing something because you’re too young, too new, too timid, too unconventional… whatever your “too” is, kick it in the ass and tell it to shut up.  And then go do something that matters to you.


  1. Good lord. I tried to fill in the blanks with my own numbers, and am either appalled or amazed (can’t decide) that I’ve only had my MLS for 4 1/2 years so far.

    Nice list – it’s interesting to see where folks come from in their career paths!


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