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Recommendations for people thinking about the program August 26, 2006

Posted by sezed in Library Stuff.

I’ve been approached by a couple of people who are thinking about getting their degree and want to know more about where to look and what to know. 

Since I’ve just finished I thought of a couple of things that might be helpful.

1.  Everyone, and I do mean everyone asked what area I wanted to go into.  Of course I didn’t know, I had an inkling but if someone had explained the differences between Academic, public, special and school libraries and what expectations there were for each discipline it would have helped.  I know within the program if you want to become an academic librarian you will find that there are courses more suited to that pursuit. 

2.  Apply for scholarships, all of them for whiuch you meet the criteria.  I was suprised to get one even though I fell into no special category.  It is expecially important that most of the scholarships have deadlines that can determine when you take classes.  Mizzou’s deadlines are usually March or April with awards for that Fall and Winter semester. 

3.  Once in the program if a required class is being offerered that semester, take it.  I think a lot of people miss this step, expecting reference to be offered again next semester.  Then they have to postpone graduation because they still don’t have this course finished. 



1. heyheypaula - August 26, 2006

These are great points…and I would add that its also okay not to know *exactly* what you want to do, but a great way to find out how to proceed is to talk to other librarians about their jobs, and visit them at work if possible. I’ve found that many librarians have jobs where they can fit a library tour in, and many more are happy to meet for a coffee or a lunch to talk about career development. The SLA even has a mentor program for new librarians. If you aren’t sure where to find people to talk to, try networking through local instructors, other students, and the local chapters of library associations. Karen Robinson knows a LOT of librarians in the area and also might have suggestions of librarians who would be open to talking with students. Through this networking, my “ideal job” changed quite a bit from when I started the program. Librarians are notoriously helpful about sharing their world with students.

2. L Wolfe - August 26, 2006

Great advice: the library world is a “small” but big one and that thing about 6 degrees of separation is so true. Networking is a good thing because not only do you learn about different positions/libraries/experiences, you also get connected with people who may at some point think of you when there is a job opp. And in librarianship, where you start may not be where you finish. That’s the beauty of it, there are so many different choices and paths along the way.  These thoughts are passed on by me from the professionals I have come in contact with…

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