20/11/2013 § 10 Comments
Why so serious?
For aspiring librarians, attitude is all-important. Many of us eat up our days doing internships and day jobs, writing papers, presenting at conferences, and networking our hearts out on Twitter. This kind of workload makes us run the risk of stress, frustration, disillusionment—even burnout, especially if we work in high-pressure public service jobs, fret over the dicey job market, or struggle with personal issues. How do we stay in love with the career we chose?
First, try not to agonize. The fate of the world does not rest on your shoulders. You need to work hard and do things you may not always enjoy doing, but you need not keel over from exhaustion every night to succeed professionally.
What do I myself do to hack my library school and job? Answer: I do not take myself seriously. I’m a perfectionist, so I take my work very seriously, but I see no reason to stifle my joie de vivre. And so I sip tea from a Shakespearean insults mug while manning the reference desk. Gotta enjoy the little things.
23/08/2013 § 2 Comments
As I finish up my MLIS (August graduation!) and start my certificate program, I find myself wanting to share a little library school wisdom. So things might get a little feelings-heavy, but bear with me; also, this advice goes to both new and returning library students:
Library school is a journey. You will encounter numerous experiences, guides, and opportunities along the way. But you will also almost certainly encounter a number of challenges, hurdles, and roadblocks. As Joanna wrote in her fabulous post, Apply Yourself, so many lovely opportunities are just waiting for you to take the initiative and grasp them! We’ve also featured numerous posts about how to do proactive things like changing your curriculum or doing an independent study. As you navigate numerous challenges and opportunities on your library school journey, here are some obstacles you may encounter and some productive ways to overcome them:
26/06/2013 § 2 Comments
For some extra advice, I asked some of my friends who have gone to ALA what attendees should bring and what they should do while at the conference. Here are their suggestions:
What to Bring
- Business cards. If you don’t have any yet, make some quick ones on a printer with card stock!
- Bring clothes that you can layer. Not only is Chicago summer weather fickle, but you will have to deal with variable conference center and hotel air conditioning systems.
- Granola bars or other portable snacks. You will be booked solid (if you are doing things right) and may forget a meal here or there.
- An empty water bottle. Stay hydrated!
- Professional looking pen. (“No bics, man,” says my friend.)
- Camera (sound settings off if possible for less obtrusive picture-taking).
- Chargers for your phone, camera, tablet, computer, and other gadgets.
- Comfortable shoes.
- Blister creme.
What to Do
- Make sure to schedule time to network (at more formal events as well as more informally over meals and drinks). Meeting people is as important as attending sessions.
- If you know that you need time for yourself, make sure to also schedule some downtime away from people, especially if you have roommates.
- Be ready to pick up swag (free stuff! books! pens! bags! random thing!) at the exhibits.
- If someone invites you to an event or meal, go! Make lots of friends.
Thanks to Roger, Sarah, Bryan, Julia, and Stephanie for these suggestions!
24/05/2013 § 7 Comments
One piece of advice that multiple people gave me around the time I started library school is: it is never too early to start reading library job ads (especially if you’ve already started library school). Of course the library hiring process is not so lengthy that you need to start actually seeking jobs if you aren’t within a few months of graduation. Rather, looking at job ads is a great way to discover a lot of things about yourself, your library school, your career goals, the job market, and the field that you have entered. While it can sometimes be disheartening (because you’re still far away from graduation) or strangely inspiring (because of the totally amazing opportunities and positions that are waiting for you) or even confusing (why would I need to know how to do that), reading library job ads will almost always prove to be an enlightening and worthwhile use of your time.
Here are some of the key reasons you should be reading library job ads now and how you can use them to shape your path:
22/04/2013 § 1 Comment
The end of another academic year is upon us. Here at Syracuse, we have a little more than two weeks left in the semester, and, as usual, that means that things are coming together in a perfect storm of final projects, presentations, and other end-of-semester tasks. I’ve been running around like a crazy person, trying to finish projects, schedule webinars, attend campus events, and see classmates who will soon be graduating or leaving for the summer.
All of this end-of-semester craziness has sent me into a serious slump. I find myself lacking the motivation to work on projects, putting off routine schoolwork until the last minute, and avoiding anything that requires making a decision. Recently I’ve had to resist the urge to curl into a ball and cry because of the pressure to just do all the things.
Despite all of my wishful thinking, though, these things aren’t going to disappear. Projects need to be finished, classes require participation, and I still want to do what I can to become a great librarian, even in the midst of my slump. So how can we make it to the end of the semester without suffering a nervous breakdown? Here are some thoughts: « Read the rest of this entry »