Sunday, 7 October 2012

Thing 22: Volunteering to gain experience

It was the second year at secondary school. Some of our English lessons were going to be library sessions, ie actually finding books for ourselves in the school library, not a book chosen by the teacher.

The teacher asked for a volunteer to become class librarian.  Surprisingly absolutely everyone wanted to be it, or at least so many people that it made choosing difficult.  So the teacher picked a number a random, wrote it on a piece of paper, concealing it from the class, and then made us all pick a number between one and thirty. I had decided on a certain number but when it came to my turn, a second before I opened my mouth, the number sixteen suddenly came into my head, so I said that instead.

Sixteen was the number the teacher had chosen. Psychic thought waves? Fate? God? Who is the God of Librarians anyway? So that was my first experience of working among books, and it was as a volunteer. 

Sixteen cropped up again when I was that age and got a volunteer job in the local public library for two weeks.

And £16k was my yearly starting salary as a library assistant, many years and adventures later.

I don't officially volunteer these days, having a full time job. But perhaps the regular overtime I put in, willingly and cheerfully and effectively (I hope), is my own volunteer contribution.

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