27/09/2012 § 13 Comments
My MLIS program has a strong commitment to encouraging students to use various online and computer-based presentation/communication tools in class projects. We use a number of different programs in addition to the course management system on campus (Desire2Learn, which is like Blackboard and Moodle). This immersion in the wide range of tech tools allows us to build our toolkits for future use and to familiarize us with the constant learning necessary for keeping up-to-date on technology. While sometimes suggest particular programs to use, a lot of the time, students share with each other the various tools they’ve found. As a result, I’ve been fortunate to hear about a lot of free, online programs to use for various reasons. I’d like to share these tools and encourage others to post in the comments about other cool tools they’ve used or heard about! I’d also love to hear how you’ve used more familiar tools in interesting ways for class projects or library-related tasks.
05/09/2012 § 5 Comments
Thoughts On Being A Younger Library School Student
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Julia Feerrar
Just three months ago I walked across a stage in south-central Pennsylvania to receive my undergraduate degree. I thought of the hard work completed, the friendships forged, and I wished fervently that my next steps forward would be sure-footed. I mean that both literally and figuratively: I hoped to navigate the stairs without tripping and I hoped that I was ready for library school in the fall.
Two weeks into my master’s program, I’m thinking back to that moment and reflecting on my preparation. Honestly, I’ve felt like quite a novice in the past few weeks. Although I interned in libraries and archives, and tutored extensively in college, I have nowhere near as much as experience as some of my older classmates. I’ve never taught in a classroom, I wouldn’t know where to begin in HTML or CSS, and my understanding of metadata is rather vague. Self-doubt has been creeping in. Am I ready to do this? Should I have taken a year (or more) to try and get more job experience? Is there a place for me in this profession? How do I figure out what that is? These and similar questions have been running through my head and I’d like to share the answers I’ve been developing.
31/08/2012 § 4 Comments
As library science students begin classes again, school is also beginning for the children we serve as School Media Specialists and Children’s Librarians. In that spirit, Ashley and I co-wrote a starter kit for anyone interested in librarianship related to children. I am currently pursing my School Media Studies degree, while also teaching first grade. Ashley is a certified librarian and works as a Children’s Librarian at a public library. Below are some thoughts on our programs and experiences. Ashley is in bold.
29/08/2012 § 25 Comments
As a second-year SLIS student, I’ve talked to quite a few new students in my program who are anxious about securing library jobs. I can understand how they feel; after all, one year ago I was a freshly minted SLIS student. I had never gotten paid to work in a library. I came to library school with the sage advice of my mentor, a very recent library school grad, ringing in my ears. She had conveyed to me in no uncertain terms that I should work as much as I could while going to school to build my resume. Because of her, I came to library school knowing I needed to jump right in—-but that didn’t make the process any easier.
By now I’ve held several jobs and it has led me to realize that my real education happens when I go to work every day. I view my coursework as something to get through; if my classes are enjoyable it’s a plus. I have taken enthralling classes, practical classes, boring classes, and enragingly irrelevant classes. They’ve fallen all over the spectrum. So while I attempt to do well in them, my main priority is working as much as is feasible. I firmly believe that library jobs should always trump coursework because if you do not work, you will not get a job in a library upon graduating. We could squabble about the particulars (maybe you could get a paraprofessional position without experience) but I don’t think it’s contestable. The library job market is intensely competitive and the more library experience you have, the better off you will be.
With that said, the following are a few tips I have for new students looking to work while in library school.
24/08/2012 § 12 Comments
When I was starting library school, nobody warned me about the sheer number of questions I would receive, from family, friends, and random strangers. Most of them are variations on a single theme:
You need a masters for that?
While I’m still getting these questions, now that I’m more than halfway through my program, I think I have better answers…