Pre-Library School Summer Reading List

When summer hits, I get reading fever. I credit my childhood public libraries with developing my Pavlovian association. I feel like I want to ask every person on Earth, “So, what are you reading?” and then I want to read all those things. I’ve completed a  difficult year of working, studying, parenting, and commuting, and I deserve some guilt-free time with a beautiful stack of books.

A year ago, I was an accepted student, awaiting the start of a full-time, in-person LIS program.  I wanted to read things that would prepare me for reentry into academia, after spending five years in public libraries, elementary schools, and retail. Luckily, students and alumni of my program have been compiling a recommended reading list. For nerds like me who want a sense of the culture and conversations happening at the iSchool, before we arrive on campus. You should check it out.

A Sample of My Pre-Library School Reading

Book Cover of The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

The Empathy Exams via

Book cover of Python for Informatics by Charles Severance

Python for Informatics via

Book Cover of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection via


In my downtime between jobs, I’d play lectures (at double speed with subtitles) from Dr. Cathy Davidson’s History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education and Dr. Chuck Severance’s Internet History, Technology, and Security. Over the summer, I attended a couple brown bag sessions hosted by the copyright office of my academic library to discuss Copyright for Educators & LibrariansLike most people, I didn’t complete the MOOCs. But the lectures, forums, quizzes, and in-person events allowed me to acclimate to academic life before starting school.

Wanna make a HLS Summer Reading List for incoming LIS students? Please share! What books, blogs, MOOCs, and meet ups did you take up (or wish you had taken up) in preparation for library school? What impact did they have on you?

Categories: Reading, To Read

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