Book Review – “The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship.”

I am very excited to introduce our first book review to HackLibSchool. The “residency program” is an interesting step to consider for students looking to make a smooth transition out of school and into a professional job.

Welcome Genevia Chamblee, our reviewer. Genevia is an Information Professional working at a Research Center in the Washington, DC area. As a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader and 2009 ARL Career Enhancement Fellow, Genevia’s curiosity, enthusiasm, and thirst for lifetime learning led her on the path of librarianship. In the Fall 2011, Genevia will resume her studies in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in information organization and Health Informatics. Genevia is the creator of Variegated Stacks, a digital space created to highlight issues relevant to improving MLIS curriculum, career trends in librarianship, and research related to diversity initiatives.

Fight the Post-MLS Blues

Are you tired of reading about the hiring trends for academic libraries? Do you want to learn on-the-job and have the benefits of an academic librarian in an entry-level position after earning your MLS? Perez & Gruwell’s (2011) ground-breaking guide to ‘The New Graduate Experience: Post MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship‘ captures the missing literature gap in the area of Post-MLS Residency Programs, diversity initiatives, and assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of these programs. “The New Graduate Experience” (2011) is a powerful resource guide for current MLS contemplating the benefits for pursuing Post-MLS Residency Programs.
As someone who is very much interested in diversity recruitment and retention issues in the librarianship field, I was very excited and pleased with the overall composition of this book. In the first chapter, Brewer (2011) gives a powerful description of the purpose and goal of Residency Programs and the difference between ones that have a diversity focus. A historical overview of the strengths and challenges of Residency Programs at University of Louisville, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, NCSU Libraries, University of New Mexico, and Georgetown University Law Library are also included in separate chapters.
This book isn’t just for the Human Resource Manager, Library Dean, but very valuable for prospective Post-MLS graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in academic libraries. Several sample applications are used for examples from other institutions to provide a helpful model for prospective institutions interested in starting a Residency Program. Another unique chapter in this book is called “Nursing Preceptors and the Academic Library” written by Perez, M. (2011) who gives an excellent comparison of how nursing graduates are trained on-the-job by having senior level mentors “preceptors’ within the organization to guide them and get them accumulated to the workplace. The preceptor model that focuses on experiential learning to develop both the mentee (Resident Fellow) and mentor is very helpful. This is a great ‘must-read’ for students interested in working in academia as well as current library administrators who are looking for a fresh new way to develop library leadership within their institutions. This book gets five golden stars for its overall tone, pragmatism, reference sections, as well as being filled with personal reflections from previous Residency Fellows.References:

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group Weblog Accessed on March 18, 2011

Perez, Megan Z. and Cindy Ann Gruwell. The New Graduate Experience: Post-MLS Residency Programs and Early Career Librarianship. Santa Barbara, CA : Libraries Unlimited, 2010.

Julie Brewer. “Understanding the Organizational Value of Post-Master’s Degree Residency Programs.” Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC, no. 272 (October 2010): 23-27.

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