Library School: Some Thoughts in Hindsight

Library School: Some Thoughts in Hindsight

by Gabrielle Spiers, Senior Editor


gabriellespiersI graduated from library school in August 2012 which I realize is not really that long ago. However I feel it is just long enough ago that I am able to reflect on the experience with the distance and perspective I did not have right after graduation.  Library school was a crazy, exhausting, exhilarating experience.  So what would I tell my pre-library school self if I could travel back in time?

You are interested in archives: I didn’t discover my interest in archives until halfway through my first semester. That’s not late but had I realized this before starting school, I could have changed my schedule later to include at least one of the classes I wished I had taken but was not able to.

Apply for every scholarship and internship out there: I have a fear of asking people to write me letters of recommendation. I always feel like I am burdening them but I constantly need to remind myself that if they say yes that means that they want to. That they are free to say no and will probably say no if they really do not want to write the letters. I also did not always apply for interesting sounding internships because of logistical concerns.  What I should have done is applied for the internships and worked out the logistics later.  I now recognize there is no point worrying about logistics until it becomes an issue.

Take as many in-person classes as possible:  I went to Wayne State University as an in-person student but since WSU has such a large online student population I did end up taking some online classes.  While some classes are only offered online, there were a couple of classes that I could have taken in-person but took online instead.

Focus on technology related classes:  It seems like a lot of this advice is related to all the classes I wish I had taken because they would have given me skills in database management and improved my JavaScript. That would help me in my current position.

Have fun and do something non-library related: It was great to be immersed in the library school world but one of my regrets is that I got so focused on library school that I forgot about the rest of the world.  There are some volunteer opportunities that I wish I had taken.

Procrastinate less: I got everything done when I needed to get it done. However I had a positive genius for getting sick at the end of semesters when everything was due.  My first semester of library school I got bronchitis and was housebound for awhile. My fourth semester I got a sinus infection that just wouldn’t leave. The quality of my work would have been higher had I been a little less sick while working on papers. These illnesses actually coincide with the classes I received the lowest grades in.

So here are the thoughts of someone out of library school for a couple of years.  Are there a couple of classes that I wish I had taken with different professors? Yes of course. Overall I think that library school was a very worthwhile experience and I am very glad I went.