Since I graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Masters in Library Science last December, I’ve had about five months (where does the time go?) to catch up some on R & R, time with family and friends, pleasure reading, and some television shows. I’ve enjoyed a beach vacation and three conferences (ALA Midwinter, the North Carolina Serials Conference, and ACRL) without juggling homework and class lectures, which has been really nice! I was surprised to realize, though, that there are some things about library school that I really miss. Here are a few of them, and what I’m doing about it:
- Learning new things every semester: While working on my MLS, each semester & summer session, I registered for new classes, had assignments with deadlines, and enjoyed the weekly discussions with classmates and professors. It was great to have a schedule with deadlines throughout the semester to push me, as well as the big goal of completing the requirements for graduation. Now, without the deadlines for readings, papers, and projects, as well as class discussions, professional development has taken a different feel. I’ve realized that I need to take more initiative in my professional development, both formally and informally. So what have I been up to since graduation? I’ve attended three conferences, and shadowed a subject librarian on the Reference Desk for the Spring Semester. (I work in the Cataloging Department, so this was outside my comfort zone, and I loved the experience!) I’m also learning Italian on my own using Transparent language database through work, flash cards, and a couple of iPhone apps, Transparent and Duolingo. ALA Annual is coming up next month (who’s going?!), and I’m busy filling my scheduler with programs like the LITA Electronic Resources Management Interest Group (an area in my current position that’s growing by leaps and bounds!) and a preconference called the Genealogical Librarianship Symposium (my dream job in retirement!)
- Writing Regularly: I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed writing until graduate school got me back into the routine. Between writing for school assignments, Hack Library School, and my own library school blog, I enjoyed the structure of regular writing assignments. While I have a new blog, Lesley’s Librarian Adventures, I haven’t found my post-school rhythm of regular posting yet. I’m looking forward to November again, though. Why November? I’ll finally have time to give NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) another go!
- Networking with classmates and other LIS students: I really miss the interaction with classmates and professors each semester! Don’t get me wrong, I work with some great library colleagues, but I miss the extra connections with different classmates each semester. To help fill that void, I’ve been looking for networking opportunities, both in and beyond my library workplace. I really enjoyed meeting up with several former classmates, colleagues, and Hack Library School bloggers and readers at ACRL 2015 in March, and I’ve volunteered to coordinate an ALA NMRT social in my area later this year. I’m also helping to organize the NMRT Student Reception at nest month’s ALA Annual. (If you’re heading to Annual, come join us on Sunday, June 28 from 6:30-7:30pm in the Embarcodaro Room at the Parc 55 Hotel!)
- No more excuses to take better care of myself: This is a weird one, I know! Working on an MLS on top of my full-time job was a challenge, but I’m so glad I did it! One of the downsides, though, was that it gave me so many reasons to NOT to take better care of myself for three and a half years. Grad school was such a convenient excuse, but in retrospect, one I wouldn’t recommend using! Now it’s time to do better by my health. Armed with my Fitbit Flex, a Weight Watchers monthly pass, and most surprisingly, braces (I chose the clear Invisaligns) to straighten my teeth, I’m looking forward to a healthier year ahead!
Something else I’ll miss is writing for Hack Library School! Every year, I’ve been so impressed by each new group of HLS writers and the fresh ideas, energy, and sense of community conveyed on the blog. I always consider Hack Library School part of my professional reading!