On Being a “Traditional” Librarian

16/12/2013 § 6 Comments

For the past few months, in addition to being a full time student, I’ve also been working as a librarian at an elementary school.  The other day, I was talking to a friend about my job, and she excitedly asked me, “Do you read stories to the children?! I used to LOVE when librarians would read me stories!”

This tiny comment made me irrationally angry, and in my head, I started ranting: librarianship is about SO MUCH MORE than books and storytime.  Librarians do so many different things, from archives to digitization to information literacy-why don’t people realize this?!

But then I stopped to think for a moment, and I wondered WHY, exactly, I was getting so angry.  Yes, I wish more people understood the variety of different roles librarians can play, and didn’t picture librarians as people who sat behind a desk reading all day.  And yes, there are a variety of amazing nontraditional roles out their for librarians to pursue.  But at the end of the day, I’m glad I spend my days helping students get excited about reading.  I’m happy to be a “traditional” librarian. « Read the rest of this entry »

Things to Consider When Applying to Library School

16/09/2013 § 5 Comments

Making the decision to go back to school can be daunting, let along deciding which school is right for you.  Not all library schools are created equal, and it’s important to find the best match for you. Here are a few things to take into consideration as you narrow down your choices and make your decisions:

Accreditation. This one is pretty important. It is often said that it’s not where you go to library school, but what you do there, that matters, but most libraries and other potential employers are going to be looking for candidates with degrees from ALA-accredited institutions. Good news, though: there are a lot to choose from. A full list can be found on the ALA website.

Location. Where are you hoping to live while in library school? Do you want to be in a major city or rural area, on a coast, north or south? Do you want to find a school that is close to home so that you can continue to work or take care of your family, or are you willing to move? There are library schools located all over the country, in a diverse range of environments, so it is important to decide where you would be most comfortable for the next few years. « Read the rest of this entry »

When You Need a Little Inspiration

21/08/2013 § 2 Comments

I have a confession: I don’t always love library school.  I know I want to be a librarian, and library school is helping me to achieve that, but the fact is, it isn’t always rainbows and smiles.  Sometimes you have to take classes you don’t enjoy, do assignments that don’t seem relevant, or deal with people you’d just rather avoid.

This summer has been one of those times for me.  I’ve been busy from the get-go, finishing up the fieldwork requirement for my program, taking classes, and working on a very time-intensive project for my graduate assistantship.  While I recognize the value of all of these things, it hasn’t been the most fun or exciting summer.

Now, the fall semester is about to start up again, and I’d really like to get back some of the excitement I felt a year ago, when I was first beginning my library school journey.  So I took to the internet, in search of inspiration, of something that would remind me why I decided to go to library school.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Learnin’: Attending Conferences

22/05/2013 § 4 Comments

Here at Hack Library School, we are pretty firm believers in the value of attending conferences.  We’ve talked about why you should attend conferences, how to hack academic conferences, and presenting at conferences.  Now that the academic year has ended for many of us, conferences are a great way to continue our library education during the summer months!

Conferences provide us with opportunities to network with other librarians and information professionals and learn about things that may not be covered in library school classes.  As an added bonus, they are usually significantly less expensive for students, so now is a great time to take advantage of them! There are a variety of conferences taking place this summer, ranging from the all-encompassing (ALA Annual) to those that are much more specialized in terms of discipline and geographic location.  Here are a few conferences you might want to think about attending this summer: « Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Through the End-of-Semester Slump

22/04/2013 § 1 Comment

?????????????????????sThe 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.

to-doDespite 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 »


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