Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thing 10:Graduate Traineeships, Masters Degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

I started in libraries while I was in high school.  I volunteered in my school's library for a few years.  Regrettably, I passed up an opportunity to be an audio-visual page at my local public library in order to focus on my school work. 

Like many of you, I studied English/Literature in my undergraduate program.  The idea of librarianship was floating around in the back of my mind, but I did not commit to the idea until I was graduating.  I used my college's alumni career network to find people for informational interviews.  The people I interviewed shared their enthusiasm for librarianship and provided insight into what the positions would entail.  One of them even gave a course-by-course evaluation of her library school experiences.

I was hired as a page in the bookdrop room of the local library and worked there for two years before I entered graduate school.  I knew I wanted to work in public libraries, but I was torn between reference and children's services.  The classes I took reflected both of these interests.  Some of the highlights of my coursework were a class about underserved populations, a children's services and programming class, and a class about management in public libraries. 

A few months after I began my program, I was hired as a reference assistant in an academic library, a position I still hold.  Although I knew public libraries are where I belong, I wanted to explore other possibilities.  The librarians and other staff members have been wonderful mentors!  I have been able to  apply what I learned in my classes and have also taken on projects that supplement the formal learning experience.

Since graduation, I have begun a second part-time position at a branch of the local public library.  Although much of what I am doing overlaps with my duties as a page in my hometown library, the experience of working in a small branch library rather than one large library has been worthwhile.  I see more of the big picture. 

Now, I am applying to professional positions across the country.  I hope to work in either reference, which is fascinating and allows me to learn just a little bit about a wide range of topics, or in children's services, where I would be able to help children develop their natural curiosity.  Wish me luck!


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