Life in Library School: Here We Go
I go to Hogwarts for library school.
Not really… But it kinda looks like it, doesn’t it?
I mentioned awhile back that I made the decision to go to library school, but the only hangup was trying to decide which program I wanted to put my sweat, blood, and tears into. After much deliberation I chose the University of Washington iSchool to pursue my MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Science, for those non-library types out there). I was in Seattle over the past week for orientation and will start classes this week, remotely.
Wheeeee….. Here we go!
I must confess over the summer I had become a bit cynical about going back to school. There’s been a lot of controversy about paraprofessionals vs. professionals in the library industry, and the troubling notion that the degree is not preparing librarians for the work force – not to mention the slim job market (like here and here and here). What was most concerning was how many librarians I’ve meet over the past few years that were very ho-hum about their degrees. I heard a lot of, “Well, I did it because I had to.” or “The program I went to was terrible, but at least I have my degree.” responses. Was I about to put a huge amount of time into something that was just going to leave me with just a piece of paper?
I brought this up to my library director and he gave me some stellar advice. He said (paraphrased), “You get out of it what you put into it. Don’t be cynical. You’re going to a good program and you’re going to do great.” When did I get so down in the dumps? He’s right. I’m going to school to push myself and grow in my profession. Not because I have to or because I need a piece of paper to prove myself. I’m doing it to be more knowledgeable in my field and to better serve my community. So what if I happen to be 8 months pregnant. Sure it’s going to be tough, but I’m ready now.