Why on earth, some people might ask, is a passionate opera lover with a BA in Music History studying librarianship? Why didn’t I try to become a Music History professor, or an author of books about opera?
Because I wouldn’t be a passionate opera lover if not for libraries. I’ve written about that fact before (see “Opera at the Library: My Tribute”). Ever since I first discovered opera, libraries have been my main recourse for sound recordings, videos, DVDs, and books of all kinds that provide insight into the world of opera and classical music. Not to mention the educational Opera Talks that my local libraries present every year in tandem with the LA Opera’s season, culminating in an end-of-season concert featuring singers from their Young Artist program.
I still don’t fully know what it’s like to be a librarian. I don’t know everything that studying librarianship will entail. I’m just getting started. But I’d love to spend my life helping library visitors find the wealth of passion-cultivating information that I have. If I can, I’d love to help a library expand its collection of opera- and classical music-related books, film and recordings, and to help promote that material. I’d love to be able to guide people with passions like mine to the exact types of books and information they’re looking for, both with the help of technology and with any knowledge of my own that goes beyond what computers know – this is why the idea of working for a school or university library appeals to me. I’d love to promote and take part in music education programs within the library, like the Opera Talks I’ve grown up with. I’d love to bring Opera Quest, the opera education program I’ve created for children, into at least one library, which I hope my degree will help me do. I’d love to eventually write books about opera music history, but not rely on them as an income source, and have them become part of the collection of the library where I work.
In spite of all the music- and opera-history classes I took at Santa Monica College and UCLA, libraries have been the real source of my knowledge and passion, more than academia ever has been. By studying librarianship and hopefully finding a career in it, I hope I can help keep that source of knowledge and passion alive and strong for everyone. I hope I can play a part in helping people find their passion and identity through library resources just like I did.