I’m breaking away from my usual running talk to share a bit more about my #futurelibrarian adventure. In order to be a librarian you must hold a Master of library science (MLS) degree. I’ve been accepted into University of Michigan’s School of Information (UMSI) where, this fall, I will begin working towards my degree. I’m super excited to be taking the first step in moving from my “library staff” position of the past 6 years to a professional position (even if that end result is so far away right now I can hardly see it!).
You might have seen this ‘gram from last weekend:
I spent most of the weekend getting what I would describe as an in-depth overview on the School of Information. It was such a weird balance of information overload but also just restating basic information found on the program website. It was kind of exhausting, which is exactly how I remember school. The program actually continued into Monday, but I wasn’t able to get away from work to attend. Fortunately I was able to tap into my network of library professionals and added some private sessions to my calendar this week.
Saturday started with a brief welcome message from the Dean followed by information sessions covering the components of the degree and various opportunities for professional and community engagement. For the most part I am extremely happy that I took a break between undergrad and grad school, but it is kind of a bummer to know that I won’t get to apply to some of the engagement programs (I’m looking at you 9-week summer program in South Africa that I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to get time off for!).
Next we divided up into smaller groups based on our academic and career interests. The program covers everything from human-computer interaction to the preservation of information to library and information science. I chose the discussion on libraries and archives which seems to be the best fit for my interests. Each group had a panel of current students that we could question about the degree, classes, professors, life in Ann Arbor, etc. The evening wrapped up with dinner and then a choice of social events.
Sunday was another busy day, starting with breakfast at 9:00 and ending at 8:00 with pizza and board games. I did not stay for the entire day because I was exhausted and didn’t see the point in attending sessions on housing (I own a house here!) or getting a tour of campus (I work on campus!). The highlight of Sunday was getting to spend some time with the professors. Following breakfast was a series of mini lectures on various faculty research projects. We also got the opportunity to chat with faculty members and alumni during lunch. I really appreciated getting to engage with the professors in an informal setting.
After lunch I was really dragging so I opted to attend two more sessions (Financial Aid Info and Career Development) but skip the Alumni Panel. I already had plans made to get drinks with a handful of alums that are currently working at the library later that week and I figured I’d get the more out of my informal panel of librarians. I also reached out to a current graduate student who I knew through email-only and arranged to meet her for coffee to talk about the program. My networking game has really been on point.
Based on how exhausting this weekend felt, I really need to find some more energy before the fall semester starts. If I can hardly make it through 2 days of school events, how will I ever survive a full time job, part time classes, and a training schedule for the next 3-4 years?! I am relieved that my only goal race this fall is an early one (September 24) so the overlap will be minimal while I get back into the chaos of student life.