Thursday, February 2, 2012

Reactions to reflective journals 2/2/2012

I just finished reading all your journals. You have such wonderful ideas and questions.
Overall, you were intrigued by special libraries, interested in my experiences as a librarian, thinking hard about what you want to do when you graduate.

I spent a lot more time writing personal answers back, trying to answer your questions.  
Lots of you were disappointed by Dr. Byerly’s talk about Special Librarians and his comment about needing additional degrees.  That’s a very generalized statement, and not all require more education. All libraries are different and have different requirements.

Since many of you are ruminating about what type of library you want to work in, take advantage of the two assignments #2 & 4 and observe one type and interview another. 

Visiting libraries is the best way to get to know what they have to offer you and their patrons. That’s the whole point of your observation and interview assignments. Think about how the library you visit is similar or different from those you are familiar with. The same will hold true of your interview with a librarian or information professional.

As to my background and opportunities, well I mentioned I’ve worked lots of places. Here’s what I wrote in response to one of you.
I was very lucky and had a broad set of experiences as a librarian.  When I was finishing my library degree, I was actually an intern at the college library. My mentor had me work for two weeks in each department. Then when I worked at NYPL, my supervisors moved us all around. We worked in the various departments, and even at different branches in our 6 region section. I even volunteered to go outside the region a few times.  Then at Mid-Manhattan (NYPL) my supervisor rotated all of us around in different jobs. He felt that every new librarian should have a broad set of experiences and be able to move on in 2 years to a new job. And I did just that.  I was very lucky. Not all supervisors were as broad minded. If you want a lot of experience, work in a large library system in a large city.

Oh how I wish this was an in person course, I’d love to take you all on field trips and introduce you to interesting libraries and librarians. I’ll have to see if I can find some virtual tours of libraries on YouTube.

Again, if you want to come see me, meet me in person, that's great. We can always talk over skype, phone or chat. 

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