Beginner Status

Greetings from New York,

This is my first official post as a new contributing writer for Hack Library School and I’m psyched to share a bit of my experience from the past week (08/20/11 to 08/27/11) both as a new library school student at Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and as a transplant to New York City.

Now that I’ve completed the first hurdle of moving from California to New York, things have gotten progressively interesting. I’ve tried to expect the unexpected, which is why I tried not to be so unsettled (even though I was) when I experienced the earthquake in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Being a Californian, I’ve witnessed earthquakes before but to witness one in New York was unanticipated. Then to be followed by a hurricane, which according to the Wall Street Journal hasn’t occurred since 1893. Truly, New York has surprised me. Years from now when I look back and recount my first week of living in New York I will have much to say.

The best part of the week was attending my program’s graduate student orientation on Wednesday. I received information about who to contact for internships, job opportunities, student organizations in the library and information field, financial aid, and the many campus resources that are available to students. Everything that Turner said in our collaborative post is correct. It is overwhelming; at the end of the orientation I had complete brain drain.

After the orientation I attended a happy hour meet up sponsored by Pratt SILS Student Association (SILSSA), which is the ALA student chapter of my school. Being in a more relaxed atmosphere I met both first and second year students. Where the commonly questions asked were: What made you come to library school? What concentration are you interested in? Where are you from? Being able to listen to different perspectives of students and what led them to pursue graduate school in LIS further fostered my decision to attend school.

Lastly, another notable event to happen this week was the resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. I read this article from NPR that included his commencement speech at Stanford University and thought this was a perfect fit to library school newbies. What resonated for me was the point at 7:24 where he discusses being fired from the company he helped create to once again be a beginner.  His departure from Apple led him to a path of creativity. Near the end of his speech he goes on to say “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I believe those of us entering library school are once again “beginners” and what I’d like most is to do GREAT work because this is something that I love.

How about you? Is this your first year of library school? How is your first week going? I invite you to comment about your experience so far. If you are a returning school, let HLS know how your first week was. Tell us your stories.

Find out how I weathered the hurricane on my blog or tweet me @bibliotree.

Categories: Hellos & Goodbyes

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4 replies

  1. Hi!
    Excuse the late response. Once I signed up for the list serve at Pratt SILS I got tons of information about internship opportunities. You can start applying to internships as soon as you want. I’m applying to some myself. The bummer is that most internship descriptions I’ve come across have preferred students to have taken a semester of courses, or have some experience with cataloging (in my case) or certain computer programs, for example, photo shop. When I approached second year students about applying for internships during my first semester, they said GO FOR IT! I’d suggest the same. If you haven’t already, sign up for your schools list serve that’s the best way to be on top of what opportunities are out there for LIS students.


    • I’m a recent Pratt graduate and the best advice I can give you is read, read, read, your Pratt email. The volume of stuff being sent out can be daunting, especially in the middle of the semester, but there is so much valuable stuff in there. I got my internship and my first para-paraprofessional job both from the listserv, as well as a scholarship to go to SLA in Philly.

      I would highly encourage you to apply for internships your first semester. New York has so many amazing library jobs, but they are competitive, so it’s never too early to start getting experience.


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