Tauranga Girls’ College Alumni Taylor Devonport (2016-2020) is pursuing her dream of becoming a librarian. Having realised her passion for literature from a young age, Taylor spent her time at Tauranga Girls’ College working as a student librarian in preparation to study for her dream job.
“I think I was around eight or so when I realised that working in the library was an ideal career for me, because I loved being there, and I wanted to make the library a place for others to enjoy and find a safe haven like I did,” she told TGC in an interview.
Taylor is currently studying a Level Five Diploma in Library and Information Studies online at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand to help bring her vision to life. Her most recent placement was a volunteer position at Papamoa Library where she learnt how to shelve books, work behind the scenes, and even helped out with the summer reading programme.
Becoming a librarian can be broader than just working at a school or public library. There is a lot of informational study involved and librarians have to be able to look at the library from different perspectives as well as being able to shelve and organise books. One of Taylor’s highlights during her volunteer placement was learning new things and interacting with library users. “I also got a lot of book suggestions from people working at the library or just the public who wanted to tell me about their favourite book series or novel.”
Taylor’s ultimate goal is to become a specialist librarian. She intends to begin her journey working in a public library and continue her studies, enabling her to pursue one of her dreams of becoming a museum librarian at Te Papa. Her advice for anyone wanting to enter the librarian pathway is to make connections. “Talking to people in the field and getting volunteer opportunities are your first step,” she says. “The hardest part is always going to be entering the career, but if you have the experience behind you, you'll go far.” At Tauranga Girls’ College Taylor worked alongside librarian Ms Middleton and got inspiration from her history teacher Ms Perigo, who studied the same course she’s currently taking. She also advises students to speak to Mrs Wilson in the Careers Department if they have any questions about future career pathways.
We wish Taylor all the best as she continues her studies!