This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions
. . by Emily Guier, Head Editor, INALJ Wyoming
Interview with Janssen of Everyday Reading
Janssen: I did a master’s degree in library and information studies at the University of Texas at Austin, which was a phenomenal experience. I made great friends and got to work on some really interesting projects, including helping one of my professors in her role as a member of the Notable Books for Children committee. After graduation, I got a job as an elementary school librarian in Massachusetts where I worked at two different schools.
Emily: If you were to start library school again, would you pursue the same focus? If you work as a professional librarian in the future, would you go into the same area?
Janssen: I loved my library school experience, and I’d definitely stay focused on services for children and youth, but I think I’d be more interested in doing collection development and programming in a public library system than working as an elementary school again. I know the role of a school librarian differs widely across districts, but in the one I worked in, I was basically teaching 5 hour-long lessons a day, which left me no time to do supplemental programs like lunch-time bookclubs or working in the classrooms on specific projects. I didn’t really love that I ended up teaching almost full-time in that job (and I have unbelievable respect for real teachers – that’s no easy job!)
Janssen: A blog, I think, is always going to change and evolve, but I’d definitely start with a specific goal in mind. Are you going to write book reviews? Curate reading lists? Suggest programming ideas? If you don’t have a framework for your blog, I think it’s very easy to stop writing. And keeping up a blog is definitely a lot of work. If you’re willing to put in the effort, though, and engage with other librarians and readers both on blogs and through social media (Twitter, especially!), you can make great friends and find a network bursting with ideas, passion, and excitement.