I started as a Page at the Main Library in 1985, working for Laurie Wills, then Page Supervisor. Glenda Williams, then a Page, showed me how to sort and shelve. After a couple of weeks I, along with Helen Bati, Glenda, and a couple of others were offered promotion to “Clerk-NC”. I was thrilled. $7.21 an hour still seems like a lot of money. I learned how to operate the old switch board, process ILL requests, as well as all things needed at the Circulation Desk. After a year or so I took the Clerk’s exam and passed. I competed for and received the posting to Los Altos Branch, working with Lynda Fritz and Dannette. I worked there for over six years, and Lynda was a second mom to me.
I was working for the State of California, managing the Resource Center Library for the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs when I was accepted into San Jose State’s library school. I called Lynda and told her. She said, “It’s about damn time.” Lynda was a wonderful mentor, allowing me to branch out beyond the Circulation Desk and take on genre collections and other duties. It was while working at LBPL that I met my ex-spouse, Mark Mayfield, who decided to pursue law school, which led to our move to Sacramento and the rich experiences in Libraries I had there.
I left LBPL as a Clerk in 1992, but came back as a librarian in 2006. I worked in the ICPD for a few months, then at Dana for Jennifer Songster until I got called up to Afghanistan in October 2007. Jennifer was a fantastic supervisor, and I am so glad she got Mark Twain after Susie Taylor retired. When I returned from Afghanistan I was placed in charge of Brewitt in January 2009. I was at Brewitt for about a year. I was recruited to do intelligence work for Homeland Security out of the Long Beach World Trade Center, and while I did that I worked as a substitute for LBPL on Tuesday nights and weekends. I kept my status as a General Librarian until I took the position in Yosemite in 2014. The commute was far too long! Some of the best parts of being a sub were Joane Hugh, with her wisdom and flowers, as well as getting caught up with old friends as time permitted.
I’ve worked in city, county, state, federal, military, community college, private school and university libraries. China Lake Naval Weapons Station, a military library, is in the High Desert. The Avalon Library on Santa Catalina Island, is in the Pacific Ocean. At the moment I manage the Research Library for Yosemite National Park, 4,000 feet high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And it all started with filling out a post card expressing my interest in being a Library Page.
For more about Virginia and her deployment with the Navy Reserve to Afghanistan, her sharing her passion for literacy by expanding the library at her base, Camp Blackhorse, and more click https://ischool.arizona.edu/users/virginia-sanchez