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Tag Archives: grad school

While I’m not sure if it will disprove foolishness, I am, in fact, headed back to school for the first time since 2010. I recently applied to and was accepted at Clarion University for their online Masters of Library Science program.

Registration for classes for the Spring 2020 semester starts on Hallowe’en, so I’m currently in the process of creating my “road map” to my degree. Clarion’s program requires 36 credit hours for graduation, and 9 hours per semester for full-time student status (in the grad school tracks).

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about tackling grad school, especially since V and I are expecting another baby in December. However, this is the best time for me to push a little harder for a better position with my library, and the MLS degree is really the only practical way to do that. Thankfully, Clarion allows me to pursue the degree from the comfort of home, without requiring travel (since the University of Denver is the only in-state option for the program).

I chose the path toward librarianship with my first work study job at UCCS when I was a freshman, and I continue walking it today. Thanks to everyone who has supported my work along the way.

In February of last year, I got the chance to spend a week aboard the USS John C. Stennis, and to my great joy I found the ship’s library in my wanderings of the corridors. This opened my eyes to the surprisingly high number of libraries that exist on ships around the world. Apparently even the Titanic had two different libraries on board. This has made me think about some of the opportunities that would be available to someone who has a Masters of Library Science degree. After all, cruise ships need librarians too… I could work on my tan AND help to educate the masses. There are similar libraries everywhere. This is twenty different kinds of motivating to continue my education. Travel the world without leaving your favorite books behind. Hell, even the Semester At Sea program has opportunities for librarians to serve on their ships.

The MLS degree is still far more relevant than a lot of people think. This article from the American Library Association discusses the outlook for the degree, in contrast to a Forbes article which listed it as one of the worst choices for grad school programs. It may not be the best job line from a purely financial perspective, but, like teaching, librarianship is something people do because they love to do it, not because they want to get rich.

I’m looking at my school options for an MLS degree. I’d like to go back to school this fall, and there are two different programs that I’m considering, both of which are 100% online. I know that it’s something that I’ve talked about for a while now, so it’s time for my words to become my actions. Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself running one of those mobile libraries in the not-so-distant future.

Since my physical dictionary is still in a cardboard box somewhere (ugh), I’ll have to resort to web sources for this one. Dictionary.com defines a librarian as “a person trained in library science and engaged in library service.” At this point in my life, the term does not directly apply to me. I’m a library clerk, merely a person engaged in library service. The training is still severely lacking, and there’s this piece of paper with a few words on it, like master, library, science, and my name that is still at least two years away. I’m not a librarian. Not yet. It’s a goal, though, and it’s one that I’ve grown more and more serious about in the last few years. One of my coworkers has described it as catching the “library bug” and wanting to get more involved.

My background is filled with books. My parents both read to me and my sisters while we were getting ready for bed. As I was growing up, I would frequently visit the local public library, a site that still plays into a great deal of my writing. We would have story time there, and my sisters and friends and I would always participate in the summer reading program. There was a small local bookstore owned by a couple (quite literally, as they were married at the time) of the teachers that we’d visit on occasion. When they decided that they didn’t want to run it anymore, my parents stepped in and bought it so that there would still be a bookstore in town. After that, the bookstore was my after-school hangout of choice, though I would still stop by the library on the way there. I couldn’t get enough books. I devoured everything that came into my reach.

That’s one of the few things about me that hasn’t changed as I’ve grown older. I love books, and I want to be around them whenever possible. That’s what drew me to work in libraries and bookstores. It’s why I interned for a literary agency, and it’s why I started this blog. I read because I want to read, and I write because I want to write. It’s been said that one should write the book they want to read. That’s very true. I’m going to bathe my life in ink and clothe it in parchment.

I’m going to become a librarian. There’s no doubt of that in my mind. Right now, I just need to be able to support myself and get signed up for the GRE. I’m not looking forward to the test itself, or to the couple of years of grad school that the advanced degree will require, but I am looking forward to finding a way to maintain libraries into the future. I want the world to be a safe place for readers and writers alike, and I want them to know that their work will always have some refuge. Besides, for a writer, what better day job could there be?