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#59449 - 09/11/02 01:53 PM Re: Being a Librarian
voiceofreason
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 1257
Loc: Brookline, MA, USA

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So this is for all the ML(I)Ss and library science students out there: What were your favorite classes and what did you like/dislike about your degree program? I'm going to the open house for the Simmons GLIS program next week, and I think I'm going to try to visit some other places as well, though if I do do a LS program it will probably be at Simmons because it's the only one in Boston (where I live).
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#59450 - 09/11/02 04:35 PM Re: Being a Librarian
Library Girl
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 50
Loc: North Carolina

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My favorite class was actually technical services (cataloging) and I am not a cataloger. However, my favorite part of library school was my graduate assistantship in the university library. I went through in depth training and sat at the reference desk with the librarians and taught bibliographic instruction classes--I think that experience was really the only thing that made me qualified for a job.

Library school is really so much theory and that assistantship gave me real experience (as well as a tuition waiver). So I would recommend asking about opportunities like internships, fieldworks, etc. and see if they have tuition waivers, stipends, whatever, to help with the cost.

Good luck--hope you like the school.


Oh, and off topic--are any of the librarians and librarians to be going to be at ALA midwinter, or ACRL in the spring? I will be at both, as well as annual in Toronto, which is that jount CLA/ALA meeting. If anyone plans to be there we should try and meet up. I have some committee obligations, but I am sure we could all squeeze in some time for a mini chick lit con.

[This message has been edited by Library Girl (edited September 11, 2002).]

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#59451 - 09/11/02 08:28 PM Re: Being a Librarian
llexuus
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 57
Loc: Minneapolis MN

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Out of the Night:
Does anyone have information about programs in Minnesota? As far as I know, St. Catherines is the only college in the state that offers degrees in Library and Information Science.


Yeah! I can be sooooo helpful here! I am a librarian, finished my MLIS 2 yrs ago this summer, finished my pre-doc last summer, and I live in MN. OK -- there are only 2 programs in MN, neither of which have full accreditation. St Kate's requires that you spend some time in IL, and St Cloud isn't a full master's program. Never fear, though -- help is available. I went to the University of IL Champaign Urbana -- which is a good school; it has been ranked the #1 MLS program for (I think) the last 5 yrs. (it has tied for #1 a couple of those years). Anyway, they have a division of the progam called LEEP, which is a part of the regular program but is done through distance learning -- you have regular classes that you attend, with other students, you just do it from your home computer. The graduates of this program (on average) earn 10-20% more than regular grads of the school. You do need to attend a 2 week boot camp the summer before classes start (yes, they actually call it boot camp) and you go down to school for 3-4 days per semester. It was an incredible experience, I have friends that I shall keep for the rest of my life (a couple of them are posters here) and it resulted in my finding a job that I love, love, love. If you want to e-mail me, I would be happy to tell you more about the program. It is a bit hard to get into the school, but it is worth the effort. OK -- I shall stop sounding so very smug. I swear that wasn't intentional -- it is just such a great experience.

-trash

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#59452 - 09/11/02 09:19 PM Re: Being a Librarian
BethG2
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 04/23/02
Posts: 7
Loc: Canada

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Okay, I'm going to try to answer as many of the questions as I can so bear with me.

I just (August) finished my MLIS at the University of Western Ontario. Be aware that this is a very generalist program and it's almost impossible to get more then 2 courses in any one area.

You must decide whether you want a Library program generally ML(I)S or a Information Science program MIS. MLS is for actually library, MIS is much more technologically based though you will hit lots of tech for both.

I want to be a children's or young adult librarian. I have not yet found a job, but I've only been looking for two monthes. Though I have lots of child care/programming experience I don't have any library experience, so your mileage may very.
The job situation is only going to get better though.

A phD in library science is for those who want to teach courses for MLS librarians nothing else. Librarians who want further degrees usually get a subject masters or a law degree. These are not necessary for entry level in an academic library, but one or the other is generally needed to get anywhere.

Entry level salaries aren't great, but barring public librarians in NYC and DC you can live on them. The money gets better as a department head, and directors/deans make very good money.

When looking at library schools make sure they are ALA accredited, a lot of job ads specifically require this. Ask not just about the classes in the catalog but how often these classes are ACTUALLY offered. Talk to current students if possible. Ask about the backgrounds of faculty, library faculty that are academics and have never worked in a library are AWFUL!

sorry this is so long. If I can answer any other questions go ahead and email me at egaughan@uwo.ca

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#59453 - 10/11/02 02:17 PM Re: Being a Librarian
curlgirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/19/02
Posts: 159
Loc: Boston, MA, USA

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 Quote:
Originally posted by voiceofreason:
I'm going to the open house for the Simmons GLIS program next week, and I think I'm going to try to visit some other places as well, though if I do do a LS program it will probably be at Simmons because it's the only one in Boston (where I live).


voiceofreason, what did you think of the Simmons open house? I'm going to the one next week and would love to hear the opinion of someone else who's looking.

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#59454 - 10/11/02 04:38 PM Re: Being a Librarian
voiceofreason
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 1257
Loc: Brookline, MA, USA

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 Quote:
Originally posted by curlgirl:
voiceofreason, what did you think of the Simmons open house? I'm going to the one next week and would love to hear the opinion of someone else who's looking.


I actually was unable to go so I'm going to the one next week, too. See you Tuesday?

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#59455 - 10/15/02 11:02 AM Re: Being a Librarian
curlgirl
Ching Shih


Registered: 09/19/02
Posts: 159
Loc: Boston, MA, USA

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 Quote:
Originally posted by voiceofreason:
I actually was unable to go so I'm going to the one next week, too. See you Tuesday?


Yep, I'll be there tonight, once I get off work. And if you feel like looking for me, I'll give you a hint--my name is curlgirl because I have curly brown hair that's over halfway down my back at this point.

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#59456 - 10/15/02 01:42 PM Re: Being a Librarian
Library Girl
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 50
Loc: North Carolina

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Well, since this subject came back up today, it almost seems like a sign to me. Since we have so many librarians on this board, I thought I'd throw this out there and see if anyone can help me out.

I was approached about teaching the Basic Reference Class for the rest of the semester for the library school at my university. The current professor needs to have surgery next week and will have a long recovery time.

This is in addition to my regular job as a librarian here. So I would be teaching as an overload. I am leaning towards doing it because the professor is a friend and mentor. Also because it would be a challenge and look good for my next tenure/promotion review--I have only taught undergrad credit courses before. This would be my first foray into teaching a credit earning graduate level class. She has the class pretty well underway and I still need to see her schedule and stuff.

So, to make a long story even longer, I wanted to see if any recent library school grads had any suggestions about things that you wish you had been taught in your reference classes. I am going to use the syllabus and plans that the current prof has ready, but I have doubts about my ability to teach for 3 hours straight. I am much more comfortable teaching in 1-2 hour increments. So, I thought some less theory, more practical or at least interesting topics might help make the second half of class less of a struggle to teach. Anyway, please let me know if you have any great bursts of ideas. And wish me luck!

[This message has been edited by Library Girl (edited October 15, 2002).]

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#59457 - 10/17/02 06:22 AM Re: Being a Librarian
russus
Gráinne ni Mhaille


Registered: 10/16/02
Posts: 13

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To add my two pennorth about being a librarian...

It's such a wide and varied career that you tend to find that you take out of it what you put in. I'm a Librarian in a Public Health Department in Scotland, and while I have one (unqualified) assistant I do much of the professional work on my own, which makes it a widely varied job ranging from literature searching, book purchasing to man management, negotiation and research. This suits me because I'm a good communicator and enjoy the management side of my work immensely, but there are other roles in librarianship that will allow you to specialise into a job that suits your personality and strengths.

It's also worth noting that while I love my job I am constantly frustrated by the under-rating of my profession. I work with other professionals (doctors, nurses, accountants etc) and I earn half their wage. Also many of them are surprised that my post is professionally qualified, they really don't recognise that some of the skills we have are unique to our profession. That said I would recommend Librarianship to anyone, mainly because of the possibility of choosing a career which suits your personality.

Oh, and by the way, you will need core skills in IT and communication at the very least.


LibraryGirl - I teach 3 year medical students and I love doing it, the more practical work you can give them the better since many of the concepts can be a little dry, but much more fun in practice.

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#59458 - 10/17/02 04:30 PM Re: Being a Librarian
megancita
Ching Shih


Registered: 07/01/02
Posts: 126
Loc: texas, usa

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I wanted to add some things regarding the variety of job opportunities available to librarians.

I've worked in para-professional library positions at a newspaper and at a university.

Lots of major newspapers have a "news research" department. In the early days, these departments were the ones that kept the clip files and article/photo archives, but technology has really changed that. At the newspaper I worked at, the librarians where in charge of the daily digital archiving of newspaper content for the public website and the private company intranet. The librarians took daily requests from reporters for short and long-term research projects. They also were invovled in database training. A lot of this has to do with the trend for "computer-assisted reporting" which involves the analysis of data for reporting purposes, i.e. campaign contributions, etc. Staff librarians were also involved in this database design.

My university library experience was as a reference desk assistant and I would echo many of the observations written by others who have worked or are working in academic libraries. Fellow employees are generally great, idiosyncratic and intelligent. The whole tenure process can be grueling, or the university might not even honor your degree by offering tenure-track positions.

I've often thought of library school for myself, but honestly the whole "chained to a desk" type atmosphere really turns me off.

If I did go to library school, I would shoot maybe for more non-traditional library jobs with corporations or research organizations like Lexus-Nexus.

My dream library job would be either with NPR (they have librarians!) or overseas with U.S. embassy staff (I know these jobs exist but I can't for the life of me figure out where to apply ....)

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