I am an avid reader and I recall a particular trip to the school library in the fourth grade where I borrowed Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. I was enthralled by the book and the world it embodied in my imagination. The following summer my mom bought me a copy of the book, inscribing: “David, remember how exciting this book was for you.”  This memory stays with me as the starting point down the road of lifelong education and my love of libraries. I have a deep appreciation of music, history, art, technology, and literature which I was able to explore while majoring in English with a minor in Music at Western Washington University.
    I worked at Western’s Wilson Library as a student assistant. I began work in the education wing of the library providing limited reference services, along with the shelving, shelf reading, and general tasks of a student assistant. But, it was the times of assisting patrons with information searches that was most engaging. I enjoyed teaching patrons how to utilize the expanding resources available on the computers, and learned how to use indexes and help a patron start a search.
       After college I worked for seven years as a cabinetmaker, fulfilling one of my other lifelong interests and learning many skills, including how to research major purchase decisions, setting up and maintaining a small office network, and employee supervision. I enjoyed working with people from diverse backgrounds. One of my co-workers came to work with us after several years in the Army Airborne and general construction. At the shop John was exposed to classical music, one of my great passions. At first he could stand only a bit of this new music but soon he was asking about each new piece we heard, naming symphonies and composers on the radio, and becoming an avid Opera buff. John’s transition was one of many things that helped me reevaluate my career choices. I remember him hearing a particularly moving singer on CBC radio. I searched the radio archives to find the artist and then located some materials at the local library for him. In helping John grow in this new interest I was reminded of my own desire to help people learn about and engage the world around them in new and deeper ways.
       When we moved to Seattle for my wife’s school I took the opportunity to further explore library science as my chosen career by looking for a position that would help me gain experience and refine the direction I hope to take in the profession. I am presently working as the Circulation Coordinator at Hurst Library on the campus of Northwest University in Kirkland. I work with five librarians, four of whom are alumni of the Information School, and have had the opportunity to learn about their various roles in an academic library.
       As the evening Circulation Coordinator I am involved in other aspects of the library, including: assisting the Systems Librarian in designing and implementing an electronic shelf reading program; feedback on website design, student computer use, and departmental needs; and assisting the Library Director in drafting plans and a proposal for the acquisition and remodel of the library building basement. I work primarily evening and weekend hours as the only full time library staff which affords me the opportunity to provide reference services to our patrons. I consult with the Reference Librarian about difficult questions and topics so that I can learn better ways to approach these problems.
       The continuing changes in the world of information and library services are exciting and challenging. I hope to contribute to the ever changing information needs of our society and world by working in Reference Services in an academic library. I believe that information is foundational to understanding and positively impacting the world in which we live. The ability to find, evaluate, critique, and incorporate reliable information in all aspects of life is key to understanding ourselves, our neighbors, and the opportunities and challenges that we all experience. I am convinced by my experiences at work, through speaking with students at the WLA conference last April, attending a discussion on international librarianship, and by reading articles by the faculty of the school, that the MLIS degree program at the Information School will prepare me both to enter the profession now and to anticipate, adapt to, and assist people through technological changes and shifts in information use in the coming years.