One of the ways I put myself through college and grad school was by doing freelance research for other people. And I've had a lot of interesting jobs, have met some really great people, and my fees paid the bills. I learned my way around a number of libraries in New York City, including the research branch of the NYPL (my favorite), the NYPL for the Performing Arts, Columbia University, Columbia Law School, Hunter College (which at that time had a phenomenal library), Hunter School of Social Work Library, the Library of Congress (my second favorite), among others. I also did research for graduate students who, for one reason or another, needed assistance (one student needed someone who knew Latin) or who were unable to do their own (usually through Student Disability Services).
I had kind of given up freelance research when I began teaching. Now, I only teach part-time, so when the opportunity to do some research for someone came along, I realized how much I missed doing it and accepted the job. It sounded kind of easy and interesting - researching this person's family history, something I'd done before and I've always loved working in the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, part of the research branch of the NYPL. It's very peaceful and the librarians are always so helpful.
What I wasn't expecting was how involved I would get in this latest project. It's turning out to be absolutely fascinating...and time consuming. But the good news is that I have been doing lots of reading and will be posting my reviews more frequently (I hope).