I come from a family where reading was extremely important, starting with my grandmother reading to me and then reading for myself and going with my mother to the library. I did not have many friends so reading was a great solace when growing up.
In high school, I helped in the library for 4 years, from 1972-1975. My mother thought I should do teaching when I left school but that did not work for me. I managed to get a foot in the door at Cape Provincial Library Services as a Clerical Assistant - the proverbial bottom! We dealt with requests, discards, redundant books - all the jobs no one else wanted to do!
I started studying by correspondence to do a BA, starting with History and completed 1 and 2 but realized that it would take too long, so I saved and in 1980, was accepted at the University of Cape Town and completed my BA and then went on to do my Higher Diploma in Librarianship and Information Science.
Every holiday, I went back to Province to work to pay for my studies, plus I was awarded 2 bursaries. After I qualified I worked briefly for Province again, in Book Selection but then went to UCT Medical Library where I worked for about 3 years and after that, I worked for Cape Town City Libraries for 3 years. I stopped working for 22 years while my children were growing up and went back to City Libraries 2 years ago, at a time when we really needed the money.
Needless to say, my children were brought up to enjoy books and reading too, so this culture of reading has been going on for 3 generations and more...