I hated library school.
Let me say it again: I hated library school.
Library school was my back-up plan. I was going to get my MLS so as to get a job to support myself so I could study for the degree I “really” wanted: Master’s in Social Work. The master’s program in library science at the Rutgers School of Communication, Information and Library Science was only 36 credits. I’d be done in two years and maybe even get a job at Rutgers, where I was already working as a graduate assistant.
Let me start at the beginning. As an undergrad at Rutgers College, I got a job working for the mother of one of my friends, who was the Serials Cataloger for the Rutgers University libraries. I searched NUC (National Union Catalog) sets, Library of Congress publications and Rutgers local authority file – and was phenomenally bored. I kept at it because I could make a work schedule around my classes and had a secure job for every summer while getting my undergrad degree. Plus, I was making more than minimum wage at the time. When I started library school the summer I graduated from college, I won a position as a graduate assistant, working 15 hours per week while also being able to take advantage of tuition remission. It was enough money, at the time, to pay the rent on an apartment I shared with a friend.
Meanwhile, while I was still in academia, my friends were getting “real” jobs and moving into “real” apartments and buying townhouses, and I was still in school. I hated being in school, not being able to go out because I had a paper or project to finish, etc.
So, I stopped going. Yup, just stopped.
But, God intervened. Okay, maybe not God, but someone in the church I was going to intervened, and to this day, I have no idea who it was. And it is to that person (and God) I give credit for as my impetus to finish library school. I went to church one Sunday because my family and I were going to do something together afterwards. I sat down, opened the bulletin – and broke out into a sweat. I saw my name listed with the other high school and college graduates that were being honored that day during the service. It was too late to do anything – it was already 10:59:59 AM. What do I do? Continue reading “Staff Stories: I hated library school!”