When you do something for a very long time, walking away becomes a big deal. I’ve been a librarian for nineteen years, more than seventeen of those with CLP. At some point in 2013, I realized I wanted to make a change. Luckily I had the resources of our amazing Job & Career Education Center to guide my research into a new vocation. While I always dreamed of pursuing a career in EMS, the career tools there solidified my decision making process.
After twenty months of tests, trials, and waiting, I have earned a place in the January 2016 class at the Pittsburgh Fire Department training academy. In eight months I will be fireman and fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.
I did not get here by magic. After making my decision to switch careers I set about training and reshaping my mind and body for the rigors of the academy’s mental and physical entry exams. This included brushing up on my mathematics. I also read about and developed new training routines to test and challenge myself. This was tough and lonely work. I needed breaks from time to time to recharge. Relaxing meant hiking, and I found plenty of material at CLP to help me with that too. I’ve also vigorously pursued the art of haiku.
The academy is a full-time commitment. This means I will be leaving CLP as a full-time employee effective after the first week of the new year. I will miss it. I will miss my work comrades and the patrons we so diligently serve. Writing for Eleventh Stack and working with its crew of crack library bloggers represents one of my proudest accomplishments at CLP. I’ve been with the blog since near its beginning, and I care deeply for it and the people who work so hard to make it great.
If I can I will try to keep my hand in the library business part-time, and maybe even write a blog post or two from the firehouse. You won’t “see” much of me for a while, that’s for certain.
I did not make this journey alone. Many people helped me get here. You know who you are. Thank you. And thanks to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for being my home away from home for the last seventeen years. In the meantime if you need me, check the nearest burning building.