I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Grass grows, but not under my feet. In July, I was a grad student clerking 20 hours a week in a hectic public library and carpooling to get there. Now in September, I’ve graduated with my MLIS, started my first professional job (faculty member! project manager! webmaster!), and upgraded to a sweet 2015 Honda Fit. Changes indeed.
But to paraphrase Walt Whitman, success belongs to everyone. When someone lands an amazing job, it does not mean that person’s peers are inadequate because they have seemingly less amazing jobs, or indeed, no jobs at all. What it proves that there are great jobs out there, even for recent graduates, even in a saturated market. For example, we were stoked when our HLS peer Brianna landed a cool job at a public Ivy, because her achievement expanded the boundaries of the possible. Poor LIS job prospects and high debt levels are rightfully concerns, but they should motivate rather than discourage the thousands of us who are determined to attempt to join the global community of information professionals.
Like Whitman’s leaves of grass, we are “of hopeful green stuff woven.” We are greenhorns in the LIS professions, to be sure, but we are fundamentally optimists, willing to work hard, take risks, and accept relatively low pay for a shot at doing what we love. Mad props to us! So celebrate yourself, and celebrate each other. We will do well.
And now I am moving on from Hack Library School. HLS has been an amazing experience-the best part of my year in library school. Thanks to all my readers and colleagues, and special thanks to Brianna and Julia (for bringing me on board) and to Anna-Sophia (for being the most critical and supportive peer for whom anyone could ask). I look forward to meeting you all as friends. Until then, we’ll meet in the comments, but for now . . .
Now I will do nothing but listen.