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Thu, May. 29th, 2014, 03:52 pm
alyssa_m92: New Library Science Student

Hello. I am a new library science student, and I'm having trouble deciding which direction I want to go in the library science field. I begin grad school in August, and am looking into researching some of my options. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Thank you!

Fri, May. 30th, 2014 04:36 am (UTC)

I think you need to begin with what drew you to library school. I imagine something did. Was it a desire to be in academia? Do you fantasize about storytime with young kiddos? Or geeking out with teens? Or researching and analyzing material to help your company get a leg up in the market?

I'd start there. Learn about what you think your fantasy job is. Put feelers out and see if you can do informational interviews and/or job shadow someone who does what you think you'd like to do. Take a class, if your school offers one, that focuses on the type of librarianship you'd like to do. Then interview/job shadow your second or third choice of possible jobs that'd interest you.

Join as many professional organizations as you can. Student rates are pretty cheap. Definitely join the groups that are the most active on campus. When I was in school, that was SLA. Not only was the student group active but they had a great relationship with the local chapter who would come to our events and invite us to theirs. It's a great way to meet people and find out what they did. Before I joined SLA, I never would have considered a special library. After, I really thought I'd be heading in that direction. I didn't. I ended up back where I thought I'd go when I first started library school but I'm still involved with SLA.

And start getting those internships/jobs now. Experience matters. And if you have experience in many different types of libraries, it'll open up your job prospects in the future.