Whew–one year down, one to go

Last Friday I finished my first year of library school, and I’m now faced with four months of no-schooling vacation. I barely know what to do with myself! But I’m sure I’ll figure something out without too much trouble. My second semester was by far more interesting, and more challenging, than my first, and thank buddha for that. I feel like I’m starting to carve out a path in the field, in some ways, and it is really starting to look like the one propounded by these guys. Blended Librarianship combines two things I’m finding myself thinking about often: emerging technologies and instruction. Our school will be offering some blended learning classes next year, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they work out. I’m hoping to be able to work with some of the reference librarians this summer to develop some of the course tools (fingers crossed, fingers crossed).

I spent the last two weeks of the semester freakishly OBSESSED with PHP/SQL/MySQL, as I finished up development of my nifty library database. I couldn’t really think about anything else. I dreamed about it at night. But all of the time, effort, and yes, frustration, were totally worth it in the end: I’m really happy with the (near) final project, and I fully intend to continue developing it over the summer. Because I’m clearly a total dork.

My final cataloging assignment, in LC and Dewey Classification, took me by surprise. I thought that I had a pretty good grasp on how it’s done and, gasp! instead got my worst grade of the semester. Perhaps I should practice a bit more before I starting to catalog my entire personal collection in LCC. But…how do you know when you’re wrong? There is no loud buzzer or chastising teacher when you’re doing this on your own, or professionally. And apparently I was just making up rules all over the place where I thought the LC guides were telling me clearly to do what I was doing. Sigh. Perhaps I will just have to take a more advanced cataloging class next year to get a better grasp on all this stuff.

I can hardly believe that I’ve finished my first year already. I know May 2009 is going to be here before I know it, and I’m trying not to panic about my job prospects at this early juncture. I’m really looking forward to a summer mostly off: I’m still working part time in the library, and hopefully picking up some reference shifts here and there as well (I figure it can’t hurt to have some reference experience, right?). I just bought a new camera and I’m looking forward to getting out and brushing off my skillz (not that I really had any in the first place). I’ll be spending my summer cooking, running, reading, and yeah, working on my database. I have, as Mr. X puts it, swallowed the hook.

2 thoughts on “Whew–one year down, one to go

  1. Alison

    Re: job searching – start early. As in get your resume ready over the holiday break next winter and start applying in January. Also I think it really helps to try and step outside of yourself and evaluate your qualifications — on paper — for each job you consider applying for. That really helped me narrow it down and be (more) realistic. Think quality of jobs applied for, not quantity of apps going out.

    Man, I could go on and on about this but when the time comes, if you are collecting advice you know where to find me. 🙂

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  2. Bess

    Congratulations on finishing your first year! I second the advice to start the job search early. Academic libraries especially hire very slowly, so if you see something advertised this fall, don’t be surprised if they don’t interview until the spring and are willing to hire you in the summer. Some move faster than that, of course, but they’ll often hold the position for a few months for the right candidate, so don’t let a graduation date prevent you from applying.

    I also applaud the attitude that you want to keep sharpening your skills over the summer. We need more librarians like you.

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