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December 8, 2012 / Christian M.

Three Year Blogaversary!

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Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of my blog, and November 30th was the three-year anniversary of my working in this public library system. This past year has been very, very busy….

Lessons Learned….

Reference interview skills take practice. I work in a small branch that does not receive many reference interactions. Most people come in to use computers, or to request a specific title. A year ago, my branch closed for renovation, and ended up remaining closed for over eight months.  During that time I was assigned to a medium-sized branch that received many more reference requests. I received more practice in asking the right questions to find out what the customer is really looking for, searching our catalog and databases, and connecting patrons to resources from other libraries or community organizations. I learned that it’s not my job to know it all, and my library doesn’t have to own it all. When I don’t know, I can ask a colleague, or point the customer to another institution that has more extensive information resources on the specified topic. For the first time, I actually felt comfortable at the reference desk.

Packing and unpacking a library for renovation is no fun! Ugh, I won’t even go into details about all that happened in that situation. I’ll just say it was a very disorganized process for us. I learned a lot of what not do, and if I’m ever in such a situation again…I’m going on vacation until it’s over!

Experiential learning is just as important as classroom learning.  Last year I debated whether I wanted to participate in any internships during grad school. I work fulltime and attend school part time. That in and of itself feels like a lot. I wasn’t sure I could handle more. However, since the library setting I currently work in, is not the setting I want to stay in after graduation, I decided I should pursue at least one internship. So in the spring 2012 semester, I worked 40 hours a week, took two classes, and interned eight hours a week. That was a tiring, but very rewarding experience.

Well I survived, and realized I could do more. So I found a new internship…among other things.  This fall semester, I worked 40 hours a week, took two classes, interned fours a week, served as an officer with the Special Libraries Association student group at my school, took a consumer health e-course from  NN/LM SE/A, and attended a conference . Somehow my motto this semester became – just say yes! There are days when I feel like grad school is just draaaagggggiiiiinnnngggg along. But in the end, I’m glad I decided to go part-time, so I could make time for the hands-on experience, and not just focus on academics.

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Looking forward…

Graduation day is May 18th! Only five more months!

Next semester I will be busy as well. Same number of work hours and classes. I will continue to serve an officer of the student group. It is possible I may be able to continue my internship as well. I will be discussing this with my supervisor next week. I also have a couple of trips to take as an ARL Diversity Scholar. One is for the ARL Leadership Symposium, and the other is a 2-day site visit to Purdue University Libraries.

With graduation coming up, I have to decide “what am I going to do next?” I plan to stay in the public library until I find a job that fits my skills and interests. I am putting together a list of job listservs and local medical libraries’ employment pages that I will start checking regularly in January. I also plan to apply for two local librarian residency programs – Towson University and National Library of Medicine.

I am finished my fall semester. During the winter break I will be:

  • creating my e-portfolio, most likely using Google sites
  • completing my application packets for the residency programs
  • catching up on sleep

Well that’s my update. This post ended up being much longer than I intended.

 

Do you have any projects during the winter break, or are you taking time to relax?

 

 

First image Copyright (c) jannem
Second image Copyright (c) hockadilly

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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. lolitathelibrarian / Dec 9 2012 2:41 am

    Congrats on your blogaversary!! ANd on all the awesome things you’ve accomplish and have going on.

  2. Evelyn N. Alfred / Dec 10 2012 7:09 am

    Congrats and good luck with that Towson Residency. I’ve heard good things about it.

    • LibGirl09 / Dec 10 2012 1:48 pm

      Thanks Evelyn! My first choice has been NLM, but when I read more about Towson’s program, it sounds really appealing. Also, the school has a College of Health Professions, so I’m sure I can gain some health sciences-related experience in there too. So we’ll see what happens.

  3. booksnlibraries / Dec 11 2012 4:00 am

    Experiential learning is different from reading – but they are both important!
    In my culture, the first one is favored, so I debated them in this article:
    http://booksnlibraries.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/reading-vs-experience-which-one-is-better/
    (maybe you’d find something useful there)
    And happy blogaversary 🙂

    • LibGirl09 / Dec 11 2012 4:52 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your blog post. Of course reading and classroom activities are legitimate ways to learn. However, the librarian profession requires practical experience in addition to the master’s degree in order to qualify for a job. Some library students are more focused on the academics, or have to work a full-time non-library job to pay the bills, and end up graduating without enough experiential learning. So my goal is just to emphasize the value of experiential learning and encourage other students to find a way to fit in. 🙂

  4. lisachow / Dec 14 2012 3:08 pm

    Congrats on the 3-years and the upcoming graduation.

    Just did a SLA webinar last month on using Google Sites to create an e-portfolio that you might find helpful – http://peopleinteract.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/using-google-sites-to-create-an-e-portfolio/

    The ARL Leadership Symposium and Purdue Libraries visit are great — I enjoyed both.

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