Why Lemonade and Information?
One hot summer day when I was about ten years old, I decided to open a lemonade stand. Unfortunately, we lived well off the main road and very cars drove by. But, optimistically, I thought the problem was that I didn’t have the right product. So I loaded my treasured Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set into my wagon, trundled it out to the roadside, and changed my sign to “Lemonade and Information.”
In retrospect, this was an early indication that I should become a librarian. (Disclaimer: I no longer see charging for factoids to be a particularly good model for libraries).
As an undergraduate I took classes at four different colleges and switched majors five times, from meteorology to math, journalism, history, English, and finally a BA in anthropology. After graduating I worked in a chicken plant and then as an archaeologist and architectural preservationist before heading back to school for a doctorate in colonial American history. My dissertation was about why the colonists resisted the Stamp Act in 1765 (short answer: slavery) and took an unexpected research detour into the life of a wine merchant and Jacobite spy who fantasized about inciting a continent-wide slave revolt.
In libraries I’ve found perhaps the only field where that irregular a background can be a positive asset (though I’ve yet to use my experience at the chicken plant). Since 2010 I’ve been the repository manager and a reference and instruction librarian at SUNY Plattsburgh.