by Elena Bubelich, Head Editor, INALJ Quebec
My First Job after Graduation
So, I have now my first real job at the library. Since August, I’ve been working in a private school library as an assistant. I’d like to share in this article my impressions about the job interview, about my place of employment, and about the particulars of working in a college library.
When I finished my internship on the 15th of July, I decided to apply everywhere I could, to get any job in any library. In the middle of August, I received the first invitation for an interview for a library assistant in a private school library. I passed it successfully and I started to work at the end of August.
Some words about the job interview. It wasn’t very long, about 20 minutes, but I had enough time to present myself and to ask many questions about the school library environment. I had only volunteer experience in a small primary school library, the grade of MLIS without diploma, and the strong wish to begin to work. I wasn’t sure about my chances to get the job, so when I received the offer to start the work two days later, I was really happy.
Now some words about the place. Compared to a library in a public school, this school library is wealthy. We have thousands of books, thirty computers, more than 100 places to sit, three small rooms for group work, and 4 members of staff. The library is open six days a week. Our users are hundreds of students of all ages (from 8 to 18 years old), teachers and college administration.
As for particularities of work in such environment, they are the same as in any place where we work with children. The first and major problem is discipline. Try to imagine two hundred students in one hall who talk, work at the computers, do their homework and projects, read, try to find a book, etc. And it’s our reality during the lunchtime from 11:30 to 13:30. It’s rare that I’m sitting at the desk during this time: I constantly remind students to be quiet, I reserve computers, I answer questions about everything (how to… about computers, software, library catalog, math, etc.), and I reshelve books. During other periods, I can find time to repair books and magazines, to do inventory, or to prepare new books.
I like this job because it’s really dynamic. Every day I see children, I share my experience with them trying to help them to learn, to find solutions to their problems. It’s also unpredictable. One day a student asked me to help her with math. Another day, a student shared with me her joy that it was her 10th birthday that day. Yesterday, I tried to help to find information about “Century egg”. Day to day, I learn and understand many things that it’s impossible to learn at MLIS program.
Is this my dream job? Certainly not. But when you have only MLIS and volunteer experience, it’s next to impossible to get the job title of librarian. So, for the moment, it’s the best possibility for me to earn experience and some money.