Origin Story

Welcome to the first post in an Independent Ideas series, Origin Stories.

We all have origin stories. Stories that tell why we do what we do and how we got to this place in the world of Independent School Librarianship.  Some of our stories march in straight lines, some wind and turn and twist, some just hop from one lily pad to the next.

How did you become a librarian?  Why did you become a librarian?  How did libraries find you?

Today, Barbara Share from the Ransom Everglades School answers those questions.


How I decided on this great profession

I grew up in a small town in Ohio, really small. The love of reading was instilled in me at a very early age. So in addition to all the normal growing up stuff, I spent a LOT of time reading. The local Library was a huge (at least to me at the time) building and just walking in and seeing the old architecture gave me great comfort. The books were easy to find and I would go to the section and just pick up the first book, sit down and read. After I finished I would take a few home, the Librarian would look up my name from a drawer full of cards and write in the information. At home, I had a comfortable chair would read until called for dinner (or anything I was supposed to be doing). The reading continues even now. When I find a really good book, everything else (I mean EVERYTHING) pretty much stops until I’m finished reading.

Fast forward to high school. Yes, I’m still reading! My mother was not well and she started thinking ahead for what profession I should consider. Librarian came to mind because I would no doubt meet a very intelligent man, get married and live happily ever after (that actually happened – but that’s another story!). Most Jewish moms have these thoughts!

So, I majored in English and minored in Library Science (25 hours). I loved it! Especially learning the research. But now I had to get into grad school. It just didn’t happen right away. My grades were not stellar (my mom died my freshman year), I didn’t have a direction     – but I needed to work.

I moved to Miami, FL (doesn’t everyone have a grandmother in South Florida?). I worked retail stores until a got a Librarian position at a Catholic School (my maiden name is Bernstein – you can only imagine how much fun I had!). Three years there and off I went to the corporate world and realized I needed that Master’s Degree to better myself. So I snuck in to the University of South Florida taking extension classes (an hour’s drive from my place) every weekend for a year or so. One class a semester. I took a leave of absence to go on campus for the last semester to finish (otherwise it would have taken another 2 years) and then back to work. Although the corporate world was busy – it just wasn’t my thing. Thank Heaven I eventually found myself back at a private school – this time an independent one and have been very happy! And yes – I’m still reading!!


We are still collecting Origin Stories and would love to hear from you.  If you would like to share yours (500 words or less) please send it to Allison Peters Jensen at allison.peters@coloradoacademy.org

Happy Summer!

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