.jump-link{ display:none }

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

When I Grow up, I Want to Be..... Sharing Memories.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze at http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/p/sharing-memories.html has begun a new series of Sharing Memories . Here the theme is "When I Grow Up, I want to be......."

From an early age, after school visits to the local library,  I played at being a Librarian and remember one Christmas being delighted at getting in my stocking a date stamp.  I made up issue labels for my books, and dragooned my family into being customers, so I  could enthusiastically stamp away. 

My schoolgirl look.
 I always made sure
 I took my glasses off for photographs  
When I started secondary school, my parents attended a parent's evening  and came back asking if I had any idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up - I had no strong views,  so said a Librarian as that's  what came into my head, plus it was a way of getting my parents off my back!
My father was keen for me to go into a bank, as he thought that was a good job for a girl (it was the 1950's!),  As I was  hopeless at maths, I knew this would not be for me. I also knew I could never be a nurse, (a popular career choice at the time),   as I had a great fear of anything to do with hospitals.  

I read all the gamut of career fiction of the day and articles in "Girl" magazine  - Sue Barton District Nurse, Angela Air Hostess, Belle of the Ballet, Kay from "the Courier", Claudia of the Circus etc.

Becoming an Air Hostess was regarded as the glamour job of the day  and I rather fancied the idea of travel - but realistically I knew,  even at that age, I did not fit the image - being child who wore glasses and had straight hair in plaits or a pony tail.

Later on, going into the Civil Service was a career path suggested to me - but no-one would actually tell me  what would I be doing in  the Civil Service?  Teaching was an obvious easy career option for a girl, and I did toy with the idea - I liked young children and played the piano (an asset in those days)  but my aunt, an infant head, was not exactly encouraging.  

So what did I become?  A  Librarian - and yes I did conform a bit to the sterotyped image - the glasses did it!  

Does anyone remember the Smirnoff vodka advert where the librarian (dowdy clothes, hair in a bun and of course wearing spectacles), whips off her glasses,  loosens her hair shaking it into a tousled look, shortens her skirt - and gets a new look and new life?    I can't say that was me, though I did have a spell at  wearing contact lenses.

Instead,  I spent my time trying to counteract the image that all librarians did was stamp books!

Postscript:  By chance just after completing this article, I came across two geneabloggers postings on the role of the professional librarian.  My contribution is at http://scotsue-familyhistoryfun.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/more-than-stamping-books-librarians-tale.html


  1. Glasses or not, the smile is the same -- captivating. In addition, you have jogged me into this series, albeit somewhat late. Thanks.

  2. What a great post Susan. Look at you in that school tunic just like mine, despite me living way down here in South Australia :-) Yep I sure do remember that Smirnoff ad and am sure you threw off "the label" but maybe not quite in that same way, eh? :-()...
    My prob re: a career path was that on entering Secondary School we were "ability tested" and I was designaged for the stream to study Latin, Science, etc. I cried, begged mum to get it changed to the "Commercial course". She backed me up, argued with the School Principal, and so I became a Secretary.
    Never once did I admit to anyone that the only reason I chose this path was because my brothers had all described, in graphic detail, how I would have to dissect frogs, rabbits etc if I chose to study "the Sciences". YUK!!!
    Such is life, eh? ... Great post, thanks. Catherine.

  3. Thank you, Joan and Catherine, for your kind comments - I am glad my posting struck a chord. You took the right career path, Catherine, I am sure. I hated biology!

  4. An enjoyable post Susan, and a career choice that worked out well as your later post showed. I too remember the Smirnoff ad -who said globalisation is new? I wasn't averse to cutting up the critters but I really didn't want to cut up that cane toad in 1st year uni.


Thank you for your comment which will appear on screen after moderation.