The Beatles, The Library and Me

BoardGameYogi from Dicebreaker posted a photo on her Instagram story last week and mentioned that it was the photo that helped her get her previous job and, in a way, led to her current career on the YouTube channel. It reminded me of a little thing in my past that managed to guide me to my career and I wanted to share that story because I think it is a rare person who just wakes up one day, knows what job they want to do and immediately starts doing it.

This post was previously published on my library’s website on February 2, 2014 but is no longer hosted there so I wanted to copy+paste it here for posterity.

Madame Tussaud's 1999
My brother and I hanging out with the Fab Four at Madame Tussaud’s in London

This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. […]

The Beatles mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, they turned out to be not only a musical obsession, but also a gateway into my career as a librarian.

I discovered The Beatles in the early 1990s, when the Anthology aired on television. The documentary piqued my interest in this group of four lads from Liverpool, England. I had heard many of their songs in commercials and covered by other bands. My parents had a couple of Beatles records in their collection, but I wanted to hear everything. Where did I go to find their music, in this time before YouTube and iTunes?

You guessed it – I walked over to the […] Library and began to dig through their CD cabinet. After I had learned all the songs by heart, I ventured into the non-fiction collection and checked out every single book about the Fab Four. I learned to use the new online catalog and requested materials from other branches.  

Then I hit a wall. Several of the books mentioned that John Lennon had written a book back in the 1960s but I couldn’t find it in the catalog. It took a lot of courage for this shy preteen to walk up to the Information Desk and ask if it was possible to get a copy of the book. To my amazement, the librarian didn’t scoff or tut at my obsession. She went to a special computer and began searching. A few weeks later, I was able to check out a copy of “A Spaniard in the Works” by John Lennon, published in 1965. I examined it from cover to cover and that was when I saw the barcode on the back from the lending library – it had come from a university in California.

I couldn’t believe it. The librarian had requested this book for me from a library all the way across the country. A whole new world opened up to me. I was in the library all the time, chatting with the staff, finding new things to research. (The Beatles were also a slippery slope into Rock and Roll history, which eventually led me to British and American history). I volunteered at the library over the summer and when I was old enough, I interviewed for a Page position, putting books away for most of high school and through college. After a brief stint working at a radio station in Annapolis, I realized that while I loved music, my true passion was information and getting the right items to help people learn about the things that interested them. I quickly made my way back to the library.

Which is why it seems only fitting that I host a program at my library to celebrate the music and the story of The Beatles. Who knows? Maybe this program will bring someone into the library who has never visited before, someone whose interest in The Beatles will introduce them to all the public library has to offer.

Tonight:10pm!!!!
Still “Love” The Beatles after all these years!

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