I’m done with the MLS!
My first Master’s degree took me 3 years. This one took me 10 months. The first one (in Comparative Literature) was more challenging, but hopefully this one will be more useful for actually getting, you know, a job. A job other than adjunct teaching. I love teaching, but adjuncting is a hard row to hoe, and I’d like to eventually do things like pay off debt, buy a house, and give my kids a college education. That’s not gonna happen on an Adjunct’s salary.
I finished my last two courses, Young Adult Resources and Management, and in the next two months I’ll be packing up house, moving back home (after a 12 year absence) to Birmingham, AL, looking for a job, and having a baby (it’s a relief to be done with classes– at 35 weeks pregnant, it’s hard to sit through a 3 hour lecture in stiff academic chairs). It’s nice to have gotten the “being pregnant” part out of the way before being on the job market, since you can never tell how companies will feel about hiring employees who have families (the ideal employee still seems to be the lifelong bachelor who is willing to go anywhere and do anything at any time, but if everyone were like that, we’d never have any new employees) and since it’s hard to look for a new job while you’re pregnant (because you’d have to take maternity leave so soon after starting).
Along with the MLS degree itself I’m getting a Librarian I certification, which is a New York State Civil Service pay class. I won’t be living in NY so it’s kind of irrelevant, but it’s still nice to have an extra qualification. To get this, I just had to fulfill certain course requirements— the gist of the requirements is that one cross-trains to be able to fulfill the user needs of a diverse public library.
For these last two classes, my projects weren’t that interesting. For Management we worked in groups (like always) to develop a plan (with marketing, hiring, evaluation, and budgetary goals– like playing Life) for our library. We had a small-medium sized public library and our plan involved creating a new teen space. The results were sufficient, they just weren’t interesting enough to post here.
For YA Resources I developed a website with the goal of increasing summer reading among teens. The website provides a number of summer reading pathfinders so kids can read fun books (and read “for fun”) instead of feeling like their summers are spent wading through the required reading for school (when I was a kid I always wanted to just relax during the summer, since school was so intense and stressful the rest of the year. Reading Madame Bovary on the beach in 10th grade just wasn’t doing it for me. Why can’t kids be given the time and freedom to read some YA lit or bestsellers over the summer? C’mon!). The website is designed as an add-on for the public library that served my community when I was that age, so I could use my insight into the student population there and the 7-12th grade summer reading assignments to make targeted recommendations. The site I made definitely needs work, but I thought it was a pretty useful tool and potentially something the library could actually use.
I created a new page on this blog that links to some of the more interesting projects I’ve done in the MLS program. I appreciated that I was often able to treat subjects of my own choosing. We’re hoping to get BADL up soon; it’s the digital libraries project we did last semester that was the most extensive, intensive, interesting, and relevant project I worked on. We’re still working out server issues.