My Library Bucket List: Summer Edition

by Courtney Baron, Head Editor, INALJ Georgia

My Library Bucket List: Summer Edition

courtney1I’m in my second semester of library school now and still do not have a library job (nor am I planning on looking for one just yet). I try to stay connected to the field through INALJ and my collection development internship, as well as my coursework, but it’s easy to put forth the “I’m so early into my program” or “I don’t have a library job yet” excuses and avoid networking opportunities. So, to light a fire under my you-know-what and hopefully inspire others in a similar position to do the same, here are eight things I’m planning to cross off this summer as a MLIS student who does not have a library job.

1. Join ALA and my local state organization

Guys, it’s time. No more “it’s still very early” excuses! I can get a joint membership to ALA and GLA (Georgia Library Association) for a mere $35 as a MLIS student. I don’t know all the benefits of membership yet, but it’s better to have membership on my resume now than wait until after I’ve graduated!

2. Register for the ALA Virtual Conference

I can’t afford to swing ALA this year. Not only do I not have the money but I also don’t have the luxury of taking the time off. I’m considering it for next year, but I stumbled upon the 2013 ALA Virtual Conference and I’m probably going to sign up. This is a great way to hear amazing presentations without the hassle of traveling. Of course, you miss the opportunity to network, but it’s still a great resume builder and way to show that you are staying involved in the profession. The conference takes place on July 24 -25 and is completely online. Registration for ALA members is $70 (another incentive to do #1 above). One session that I’m particularly looking forward to is “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Finding Your First Librarian Job.” Perhaps I will do a recap for INALJ. J Here are the details for the ALA Virtual Conference: http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/virtual.

3. Register for a local conference

Since ALA is not a possibility this year, I’m going to try to attend a local conference. For Georgia librarians and job seekers out there, I’ve been told COMO is a must. It’s the annual joint conference for the Georgia Library Association, Georgia Association for Instructional Technology, and the Georgia Library Media Association. The conference is October 10-13, 2013 at the Macon Marriott City Center. You can view more details here: http://gla.georgialibraries.org/events.htm. Another upcoming conference is the Southeastern Library Assessment Conference that caters to academic librarians and others interested in library assessment. This is interesting to me because I did a project on assessment in my foundations class. I was told that COMO is a better investment for my fist conference so I will likely attend that one but I highly recommend those in the South East area check it out: https://sites.google.com/site/southeasternlibraryassessment/.

4. Attend a networking session

Georgia has a group called Atlanta Emerging Librarians for up and coming professionals and MLIS students. They hold free events in the Atlanta area. I haven’t attended one yet but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and go! The next event is on Saturday, July 13 2:00-4:00 PM at the Toco Hills-Avis G. Williams Library and will cover “Going Pro: From the Interview to First Year”: http://gla.georgialibraries.org/div_nmrt_atllibmeetup.htm. I can’t speak for other areas, but if Georgia has networking sessions for new librarians, I’m sure you can find similar events in your area! Ask your INALJ Head Editor for advice.

5. Attend a Webinar

Webinars offer a no-excuses opportunity to engage in the profession. You don’t have to worry about travel, money, or taking time off from your busy schedule. I usually find out about webinars from various listservs but it’s clear that they are happening all over the place and on fascinating topics. Georgia librarians can benefit from the Carterette Series Webinars. They are, of course, free and archive for your viewing pleasure: http://gla.georgialibraries.org/mediawiki/index.php/Carterette_Series_Webinars.

6. Take a library-related MOOC

I’ve posted about upcoming MOOCs before (http://inalj.com/?p=21822) but I recently heard about another MOOC from the ALA Think Tank Facebook page. It’s the New Librarianship Master class from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University: http://ischool.syr.edu/future/grad/newlibopencourse.aspx. The course is offered in a guided mode from July 8 to August 4.

7. Write on my blog

I have a professional blog but I’m not a very good blogger. I created the blog to record my experiences and ideas during library school in order to have some educated thoughts to share with future employers. But it probably doesn’t look good to have several weeks or months without a post! I’m going to commit to post at least three times this summer. I’m learning cataloging and really enjoying it so I definitely have material to share. I should probably Tweet a bit more while I’m at it.

8. Pass my classes

I’m taking two MLIS classes this summer while working full time. I was actually told this probably wasn’t a good idea and, while I don’t regret it, it has been intense and time-consuming. I definitely want to put myself out there and emerge from my comfort zone, but I can’t let that distract me from my studies. So this may be the most important goal on my summer bucket list. Of course, I don’t hope to merely pass, but to pass with flying colors!

Whew, now that I’ve put that out there, I have to get it done! I hope I’ve inspired you to create your own library bucket list and explore some of the options out there. Summer is the perfect time to kick start your library career. Just don’t forget to enjoy some sun and fun!

  5 comments for “My Library Bucket List: Summer Edition

  1. July 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for this article! I’ve been interested in learning a few library-related courses before I apply to graduate school, and your link to MOOCs was incredibly helpful. I wish you the best in completing your list!

  2. July 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Next semester is my last semester and I do not have a library job either, there haven’t been many in my area and I did not get the one I applied to earlier this summer. I too blog and have been talking about each weeks reading topic in my electives as a weekly blog post. I love your other ideas, alas, my local conference has passed, but I might try the virtual conference or the MOOC though.

  3. Brittney
    July 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Nice article! Good luck with your classes, I’m working full time as a cataloger and taking three classes per quarter so I completely understand passing being one of your goals.

  4. Caitlin McManus
    July 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Such a great article. I am halfway through my program and still haven’t come across any library jobs, which equals serious frustration at times. I will be putting these suggestions to use (especially #7 & 8!) Thanks!

  5. Teresa
    July 10, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks for all the tips! As someone who’s just starting her degree program this fall, I know actually finding a job is a ways off, but I really want to do as much as I can now to help myself in the future. These are really good ideas.

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