Yesterday I received this email through my Facebook contact form. I thought I’d post a response publicly so others can see it and to tap the wisdom of the web, What do you think, is she crazy to want to work in libraries?
I follow you on twitter and really enjoy all the information that you share. I’m a 41 year wife, mother of one and student. I’m working on my undergraduate degree with plans to get an MLS degree when I’m finished.
If you have time, please send me some advice.
What I want to ask you is this: am I crazy to want to work in a library? Everyone I tell (not library people) are so discouraging and seem to think libraries are going to die out and become a thing of the past. I’ve heard that a love of books is the worst possible reason to want to work in a library, but in addition to loving books, I love technology and I love people.
Unfortunately I can’t give you an easy yes or no. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best I can do it point you towards some resources that I think the will help you better understand what being a librarian entails, what librarians really do and what their work days are like. If you haven’t already I strongly suggest working in a library. Volunteer if you have to in order to get a foot in the door.
For online resources I recommend you start with this slideshow by Ned Potter
Then I recommend you read these links from So You Want to be a Librarian? A Guide For Those Considering an MLS, Current Students & Job Seekers. The full posts contains more links and advice but these are for those thinking about getting a degree, working on it or newly graduated.
- So, You Want To Be A Librarian? Part I
- What the eff can you do with a MLIS/Archives/Library Science degree? – Earlier tonight a friend passed a question on to me from Aardvark in which the person asks, “What can you do with an MLIS other than become a traditional librarian or archivist?”
- Ten Practical Tips for New Library Students – Here is a list of ten tips I’d like to have had when I began library school. I hope you find some of them useful. Please feel free to add others by using the comment function.
- What MLIS Grad Schools Need to Tell Prospective – and Current – Students Now – One has only to participate in a few LIS discussion lists or online groups, hang out at a professional conference or two, or read some of the many LIS blogs and their comments to realize that the library profession is in the midst of extensive and somewhat discouraging change.
- Ten Tips for Building Your Career While You’re in Grad School – Grad school is not only an opportunity for you to develop your LIS skills and expertise, it’s also an opportunity for you to build a professional platform that will help launch you into a career that’s rewarding both personally and financially.
- Library School To Do List from Andy Burkhardt
- The Dos and Don’ts of Library School – from Lauren Dodd
- Library Day in the Life Project – trying to decide what kind of librarian to be? Check out the average day or week of librarians.
- What I want LIS students to know – a great list from Jill Hurst-Wahl
It might also be of help to read these posts on what it really means to have an MLS
- The Master’s Degree Misperception
- Response to “The Master’s Degree Misperception
- The Master’s Degree Misperception, Ctd.
- Response to “The Master’s Degree Misperception, Ctd
- The LIS Masters is a qualification of convenience
- I Got a Degree So I Could Fix the Printer?
- Library MAs: insufficient preparation for the real world of information work?
- The Librarianship Qualification
- Some thoughts on the LIS MA includes likes and dislikes on masters work.
- Tina Reynolds talks about what she felt was missing in her education in Library School.
- Finally Micah Vandegrift looks at the varying types of degrees a librarian get in the The MLIS vs. the MLS