"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Sep 11, 2009

My last EVER year of school is beginning!

I don't know whether to say "finally!" or flip out about having to actually get a real, full-time job. (It's not that I'm not looking forward to a long, fruitful career as a public librarian. I'm really excited about being able to go out and do this stuff in a real-world situation. It's more the finding of a job that is stressful. But that's a topic for another time, anyway.)

Anyway. The job stuff is just beginning to loom on the horizon. Right now what's taking up much more of my time is getting started with school and figuring my classes out. So far there are two classes I'm definitely taking, one I'm almost certainly taking, and two I have to make a decision about. They are as follows:

Cataloging: Definitely taking. I don't plan on being in technical services, but a) it's good to have the skills if I need them, and b) understanding this stuff will make me a better reference librarian and eventually a better manager, should I end up in a management position where I supervise tech services staff. It's going to be a ton of work and a bit of a slog, but I regard it as a thoroughly necessary class. And the professor entertains me (as well as being a good teacher in general).

Information Use in Communities: DEFINITELY taking. This ties directly in to my interests, as it's taught by a professor with a research interest in how public libraries can most effectively and directly serve the communities in which they're embedded. It also was cancelled due to budget cuts, and only reinstated because of student protest, so beyond the fact that I'm really interested in it and think it will be good for developing my thinking in certain domains, I feel a bit obligated to swell the head count this semester (having been one of the protesting students). I absolutely adore the professor; she's this warm fuzzy grandmotherly lady who is just really knowledgable and nurturing and with whom I feel very comfortable, which isn't always the case with me and professors. This is one of two classes that I am most looking forward to.

Community Information Corps seminar: Almost certainly taking. It would be another good one for getting to think about libraries in a community setting. My only real concern is that a lot of it will not be library-centric; Community Informatics tends to draw people from a range of specializations. But that might not be a bad thing. I could use to do a little more thinking about policy and current problems outside of information science.

Design of Complex Websites: Thinking about it. The teacher is awesome, and I could use to improve my programming. It would also probably look fairly good on my resume. However, I question how much I'd really be able to use many of the specific skills from the course in my career.

Theories of Social Influence: Considering it, and yeah, I will probably end up taking it. I could use it in my career! I could use my knowledge of social influence to get people to come to the library, and support it politically, and attend programs! And I'll be a better manager if I understand how to influence people! ...yeah, so I can make arguments like that, but really? The professor seems really nice, and the subject matter is INCREDIBLY COOL. I deserve a "just for fun" class, don't I?

On top of all this, of course, I'm working 10-12 hours a week, performing duties as an officer in the school's ALA student chapter, attending the SI fiber arts group, being with my boyfriend, seeing friends, keeping the apartment clean, starting a job search, and hopefully also getting a public library internship. I foresee a busy semester...

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