Goodbye Library School, Hello High School

29/08/2013 § Leave a comment

Well, this is it, kids: my time in library school is over, and so too ends my time writing for Hack Library School. This is so long, this is farewell, this is auf wiedersehen and adieu. This is also when I’m supposed to write a nice post summing up my time here, or my time as a library student, or something like that. But I’m finding that a bit difficult, because at least for me the end of library school has segued straight into professional librarianship. So while on the one hand it feels as though everything has changed, it also feels like the road I’m on is the same one I’ve been on since my grad school orientation.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just liked it. Image by samdecle, licensed through Flickr.

This has nothing to do with anything, I just liked it. Image by samdecle, licensed through Flickr.

Back in the summer ending my first year in library school, I made a plan to transition to Boston. I had no leads there; I knew precisely one person, who was not a librarian. I was giving up a decent amount of library cred back in Portland in exchange for what I hoped would be a wider array of opportunities, but there was no question it was a gamble. I figured I would find a nice practicum somewhere in Boston, head back east, and somehow that would lead to a job. To my own immense surprise, that’s exactly what happened… I found and landed the practicum, moved back east, and at the very end my practicum– just as things were starting to look a bit dire, as though perhaps I’d made a mistake — I got a job. The day I flew back to Portland for my final capstone presentation, not an hour after my plane had landed, I received the email offering me the position. I can’t begin to express the relief and gratitude I felt that day.

Here’s the thing, though: the job I’m doing is not a job I’d ever have guessed I would do. I’ve always hedged my bets by following the digital librarianship track, but in my heart of hearts I was most interested in how people use technology in the library, and in teaching them how to master all these amazing new tools that technology has given us. Actually getting to do that seemed like a distant dream, though, to be won only through years of part-time and contract gigs, fighting for my chance to teach, or being turned aside and into some other track entirely. Then one day I found a job posting for a Digital Literacy Librarian at a boarding school of all outlandish places, and figured I might as well give it a shot. A week later, I went to interview. A week after that, I got the job offer. This week — only a month after first spotting that ad — I’m on campus for faculty orientation. It has all been startling and thrilling and exhausting, but I have no doubt that this is the next right step on my road.

So here’s my advice to you, as a old hand at library school and a total rookie as a professional librarian:

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TTYL! K.I.T! (goodbye)

16/10/2012 § 3 Comments

During my last semester of library school, I always tried to keep the finish line in mind and my motivation going. I told myself that once I finished, I’d have all the free time in the world to finally watch Doctor Who and finally learn to cross-stitch. Turns out I was dead wrong. While I was scrambling to finish my final projects, keep my eye out for jobs, and trying to just live my life, I was also subconsciously prepping myself to remain active once I finished. I volunteered for committees, kept an eye out for other professional development activities, internetted for hours on end, went on interviews for jobs, etc. Well, now I’m just as busy as I was in graduate school. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some pretty gifted, go-get-em types of library school students and I just want to warn you guys, it doesn’t really stop if you plan on staying active in the field. For some types of jobs out there, having a high level of professional activity is just expected, so if you feel like pulling your hair out from stress– just get used to it. In the end though, I think it’s worth it, I’m in this field and I do this work because I find it intrinsically rewarding (but again, making yourself crazy busy isn’t for everyone, work/life balance is achievable).

This is my roundabout way of saying goodbye to HackLibSchool. I’m really terrible at good-byes. I’m the type of person who would rather sneak out away from the goodbye party without actually saying it.

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Call for new writers!

18/09/2012 § Leave a comment

Greetings readers!

Here at Hack Library School, we pride ourselves on providing engaging, thoughtful, and useful resources for Library and Information Science students.  The best part of this experience, in my opinion, is the community the writers have with each other and our readers.  Unfortunately, because we’re a blog by and for students, eventually we have to move on to bigger and better things (like full-time professional gigs).  The good news for all of you is that we’re looking for a new group of dedicated students who would like to be regular contributors here.

We’re looking for people who are enthusiastic, skilled writers who have backgrounds and specialties that we’re currently lacking at HLS.  We’re looking for a diverse group of writers: diversity of experience, professional interests, and opinions.  We strive to critically engage with topics and we’re not afraid of “stirring the pot,” and we hope you aren’t either!

The commitment is relatively low.  We try to post 3 times a week.  As the schedule sits now, each writer contributes about a post a month on the topic of their choosing. New writers will get paired up with a mentor (an “original” Hack Library School writer) to help with your first few posts and generally ease your nerves.

If you’re interested in regularly contributing to the blog, please send Brianna (bhmarsha at indiana dot edu) an email with the following “application materials” by Oct. 5, 2012:

  • A brief bio about yourself.
  • Your school and anticipated graduation date.
  • Your professional interests and 2-3 topics that you would like to write about.
  • A writing sample, if possible.  This does not need to be formal.  Feel free to link us to a personal blog, a paragraph of a paper, etc. We just like to get a feel for your writing style.

If you are a recent graduate or can’t commit to being a regular contributor, please consider writing a guest post for us! Just indicate that you are interested in a guest post in your email.

We look forward to hearing from you!

[Series] Hack ALA: Our Recommended Sessions

11/06/2012 § 1 Comment

Editor’s Note: We are happy to kick off our second annual Hack ALA week! We’ll be dedicating posts this week to all things conference-y and professional. As students, it’s important to get your feet wet in the LIS professional world early, and as often as your budget allows. While these posts are ALA-themed, much of the advice can be applied to other professional networking situations.
These are just some sessions that we think are orientated towards library school students. We also encourage you to independently explore sessions that you are interested in. Also be sure to check out the exhibitors hall and the Networking Uncommons while you’re at the conference.

HLS Stuff

Conversation Starters: Hacking Library School

When: Saturday, June 23, 2012 – 10:30 am- 11:15am

This conversation starter seeks to bring together students and professionals to talk about issues pertaining to our education and our field. It will be a moderated conversation with guiding questions such as: What aspects of library school curriculum prepare you for the job? What emerging technologies enrich your education? How do you “hack” library school? Hack Library School is about being the change that you want to see. What would you change? We hope to see you there!

Hacklibschool / Library Boing Boing Meetup

When: Sunday, June 24, 2012 – 7:00pm-9:00pm

Come meet the #makeithappen crowd at the joint Hacklibschool / Library Boing Boing Meetup at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon (1025 E. Ball Rd.,www.theranch.com) on Sunday evening. We’ll be waiting for you in the Saloon.

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HackLibSchool Conversation Starter

06/06/2012 § 3 Comments

I am pleased to say that HackLibSchool will be holding two events at this years ALA Annual conference. Awhile back, I wrote about trying to bring HLS and the issues we care about to the conference level. Well, I’m happy to say that our Conversation Starter was accepted! To be honest, this is the first year that they have done the Conversation Starter series, so I’m not sure what to expect. However, our session is intended to be a moderated discussion – not like a traditional panelists just talk at you presentation. We want your input on what topics you want to discuss.

Potential guiding questions:

  • What aspects of library school curriculum prepare you for the job?
  • What emerging technologies helped you hack your education?
  • From a student’s perspective, what advice would you give to a veteran? or a potential boss?
  • What would you tell yourself going into library school, knowing what you know now?
  • Should every student be required to take at least one online class? Why?

Please add more potential questions in the comments! We want to talk about things that are relevant to you! Also, we only have 45 minutes to talk so I would like to invite everyone to come meet and talk with the Hackers at the HackLibSchool/ Library Boing Boing meetup! It’s going to be fun, and hope to see you there!

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