Willie Braudaway

Willie Braudaway

Why have I spent four weeks telling you this story?  Well, I hope my story may help someone to recognize that their story is still being written – one day at a time – no matter how old you are.  You never know how one little thing – one skill learned, one talent developed – may affect the direction of your life.

I left the story I was telling last week here:

“However, one day in 1999 I heard that the Reference Librarian was leaving the Val Verde County Library.  And, lo and behold, the Library Director Katherine McMurrey couldn’t type… The job would mean a quarter cut in pay – from $20,000 to $16,000.  Would it be worth it?”

Oh yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!  As a little girl, I had always been the go-to kid for my classmates when we visited the library.  Now, with my administrative, programming, and publicity skills, I was able to assist Katherine with other library projects beyond the reference desk.  Those typing and computer skills were the key to my usefulness to the library.

Actually, working in the library is when my real career began – at the age of 43, no less!  Attending my first Texas Library Association conference in April 2000 led to me typing my way to earning a Master’s degree in Library Science (MLS) online from the University of North Texas in May 2003.  This degree made it possible for me to become the director of the Val Verde County Library in 2005.  I will always cherish the 10 years of experiences I had in that library – the good and the bad.  We learn from everything, right?  Right!

Ten years ago started me on a new path of parlaying my skills, talents, and knowledge through my business as librarywillie research & consulting LLC, serving as the United Way Chief Professional Officer, and helping folks with their family history research.  This column also began 10 years ago just because I love learning and sharing what I learn.

And then four years ago, my husband came home from Southwest Texas Junior College and told me the Del Rio campus needed a full-time ALA-accredited MLS librarian by Fall 2015.  Oh my, that was me!  And so now I am a working librarian once again.  I am so grateful for every zig and zag my journey has taken so far.  And it’s not over.

Oh – let me share just one more way my typing skills have made me who I am today.  My first conversation with Doug Braudaway began when he asked me, “Can you type…?”  Over 32 years later, I’m so glad I could answer, “Sure!”

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