Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Library School"

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Well, it's mid-semester and per the usual I'm starting to feel like I'm drowning in books and papers.
Some of you have asked what exactly I do in "Library School" and I wanted to share a glimpse into the life of an MLIS student.
{MLIS = Masters of Library & Information Sciences.}
You do in fact have to have a Master's Degree to work as a librarian these days.
I know, it surprised me too.
"You need to have your Master's to check out patrons' books?"
Oddly enough, Librarians aren't even the ones that would check out your books, or re-shelve your books.
Most likely that would be an assistant, or a page who is assisting you at check out.
Depending on which setting,
(Academic, Public, School, Law or Corporate)
librarians can be in charge of:
 the collection development for their library (what books and/other resources to order),
what programs the library will offer as well as leading some of these programs,
{i.e. story time, computer classes, gaming night, etc}
how to market the library,
maintaining the databases,
and are ultimately there to assist patrons with accessing the information they are looking for.

At SJSU, we were able to choose our emphasis early on in the program
and after dabbling in Archiving & Catologing {not for me}, and Computer Database Creation and Management {no thanks}
I settled on an emphasis in Children's and Young Adult Literature.
While I would be able to become a librarian regardless of my emphasis,
Children's and YA Lit would be most beneficial to me as I see myself ultimately becoming a Young Adult Librarian.
I've had to take courses in a multitude of areas:
research methods courses, programs & services for public libraries, marketing, diversity within a library setting, information retrieval processes, etc.

The course I'm in now is Materials for Young Adults ages 15-18.
In addition to the 50 books I'm required to read and review for our final database project, I'm currently trying to finish a 20 page paper on Trends in Digital Resources for Teens.
Two weeks later another 20 page paper is due on the ever-so-controversial topic of sexuality in young adult literature.
{Nothing gets me more worked up then attempted bans on books!}
While I love the content we are studying, the fact that I work full-time has successfully taken the joy out of school.
It's become something that requires the last bit of energy I have after working all day.
I have one more class to take over the summer, and then I begin work on my portfolio during the Fall.
I'm set to graduate in December,
{Knock on wood. Seriously, knock on it.}
I think if I was required to go to school for even one more semester after, I would drop out.
 Sorry dad! 

So there you have it! Exciting stuff right? ;-) 
So please excuse my lack of comments or replies as of late.
It's just been overwhelming in these parts!



Sini said...

Sounds interesting to me! I'm a bilingual assistant, and been interested of another kind of career. I don't know what kind of degree is needed in France, but I'll definetly check this up because never know if want some change in my life :)

Lauren said...

Good luck! It sounds very interesting! I go to nursing school and the librarians here are extremely knowledgeable when helping with our research, so I definitely see why a Masters is required!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Good for you! I'm a 2nd grade teacher and my students LOVE library class. We need more good librarians in the world!

Jes said...

sounds really interesting! i loved my librarian growing up. she read the best books and had the best glasses. naturally, i wish we were best friends.

xx jes

Holly said...

I worked as a children's librarian/summer reading club coordinator for a couple of years when I was in university and I absolutely LOVED it - I would love to work in a library but I've got so many "part degrees" - I can just see my husband rolling his eyes when I tell him I want to get my Masters in Library and Information Science.

lo @ crazy ever after said...

You are a true inspiration to me. Seriously. School id hard. Probably why I have failed at it in the past. Knowing how busy you are makes me even more appreciative of the threeway witty banter you, me, and Emily exchange via text messaging. Hehe. Btw. I totally miss her. She needs to get her butt back to North America.

Ruthie Hart said...

um you are going to be a LILF...and you know what that means ;-)

Samantha said...

How, oh HOW in the world do you get your hair to be so perfect? My hair is incredibly, naturally, curly. Which is fine, but I love the long waves and can never seem to perfect it.

Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

You are going to be the cutest librarian! Also, I didn't realize a lot of the things you have to do, so that was interesting!

Ben & Cassie said...

wow that is really cool, so you are going to know all about the next "hunger games" and teeny crazes before they even hit! you will have to give us the heads up. I am set to graduate in December too and I feel like when I think about how far away that is I think "Will i even be alive then" Oh school....

{[Jessica]} said...

WOW.. you are one BRAVE woman to be tackling all that & working full time but you can do it!!!

December isn't that far away.. just as I am trying to decide if I want to get my masters you'll be finishing! :)


Liz Brown said...

I wanted to be a librarian SO much when I was little. That was back when they stamped the cards and everything, and I even remember an old fashioned card catalog in a small town I lived in.

A couple months ago, I was living temporarily in another little Nebraska town, and the library there still stamped the cards. The librarian let me do it :) I felt so fulfilled ...

Valerie Griffin said...

My bachelors is in Elementary Ed. & I've thought about getting my MLIS! I think being a librarian would awesome!

Mish Lovin' Life said...

That's awesome! I'm so proud! :)
Annddd I knocked on my wooden desk for you. Literally. You've got this!

And though I miss your comments, I now know it's not bc you hate me. It's bc you're busy with school.
And for that, carry on...Carry on.


Meghan said...

I am a high school teacher and am fascinated by this post! I always knew that a MLS degree wasn't easy and I know I adore our media specialists, as well call them, at school. They are SO helpful. Best of luck as you finish!

Karla said...

First of all.. I never –ever remember librarians being as pretty as you Mrs Gray!! I think you might just make teenage boys all over CALI LOOOOVE to read!
And second of all.. hats off to you.. I cant even imagine what stress I would be under having to write 20 page papers and read 50 books?! Like hello superwoman..
I cry when I have to sit there and remember legal terminology.. But im rooting for ya!! You give all of us FULL TIME workers hope!!

jessica said...

wow girl you are kicking ass!!

before i decided that i love my job i really thought hard about going back to school to be a librarian. lord after reading all of this i know that i probably wouldn't be up to par lol. i suck at studying and i wait way last minute on papers. sooo i give you major props, girl. that's so awesome!!!

Michelle said...

Daaaang. I can't even imagine doing all that work with a full time job. I would find myself whimpering in the fetal position. However, I think your program sounds fascinating. My inner English nerd is very jealous.

Also, you're the hottest librarian *ever*

Mrs. Janney said...

My Mother in Law was studying to get her Librarian master's but she dropped out. I can't believe you have to read all of those books! Of course I am the world's SLOWEST reader so that would take me forever. And all the paper writing? That's intense.

Justine said...

Girl, you're awesome! I'm still trying to finish my undergrad degree, I can't even imagine getting a Masters. I don't know how many times I've said "if i have to do one more term, (after the 3 I have left), I will drop out - haha.

Laura said...

This is really interesting stuff! I had no idea what when into being a librarian but all in all ...that's a pretty awesome job to have! I'm sure my bf would love if I were a librarian ;)

Elle said...

So glad you explained all this! I have always loved libraries and when I was little I thought I'd want to work in one. My favorite library is the historic one in Pasadena. Gorgeous! I still think about it.
Since you focus on YA literature were you required to read Hunger Games? Lol. That would make librarian school pretty awesome ;)

Robin said...

That's so interesting! I had no idea so much went into being a librarian. I know how you feel to some degree. I'm a medical secretary at a hospital, and most people think all secretaries do is answer the phone and write appointments in a schedule. They have no idea how hard and involved it is! Good luck with the rest of the semester!! You'll do great :)

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I was hoping to work at our library & they were finally hiring & I found out that you had to have a degree. I was so bummed out.

Jasmine said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing :) it's so interesting!! I'd totally love to do something like this but I'd need to add it to my list of 'Degrees I want before I die!' unfortunately. I think it will be amazing once you get to the end though! The amount of work is ridiculous :O best of luck with it all! I knocked on wood for you also because that comment was so forceful I felt like you would know if I didn't!!!

And beautiful picture :) x

Emily said...

I cannot even IMAGINE doing all that on top of working full time. Well done, chica! Let's a have a big party when you graduate. (read: organize and plan something that I'll show up to...haha...only partially kidding!)

Also, reading Divergent by Veronica Roth at the minute. Was suggested as a good "fill the Hunger Games void" book. And I'm totally hooked. It's no HG, but it's good and very topical as tween fiction.

Jess said...

I knocked on wood for you!

Seriously though, hang in there girl! It will pass and the stress will be gone soon! Also, thank you for educating me on what a librarian actually does. I sadly had no clue. But I'm glad I do now... and it sounds like a wonderful job!

Jessica L. said...

Uh, what a great librarian picture! Makes me want to be a librarian!-Jessica


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