The Final Stretch

As of right now, I have one more paper to turn in this semester, and then I’m on to my final semester in library school. It seems like I only just started, excited but nervous, since it felt like a big change from all my previous education. Now here I am, having learned a lot, looking forward to the future: How will my final semester go? Am I taking the right classes? Will I find a job? What jobs should I even apply for?

Ultimately, I’ve decided to take three classes (plus a language class) so that I can focus on my internship and part-time job and, more importantly, focus on the job search. My plan is to apply primarily to residencies. I ultimately want to be a Southeast Asia subject librarian, but jobs in that area are few and far between, so until one of those jobs comes up, I’m planning on finding jobs to gain more skills. NC State’s fellows program, for example, will give me more experience in working with technology in libraries. What this means, practically, is I spent most of this semester waiting nervously for jobs to be posted and obsessively going over my resume.

Because I haven’t gotten any extended instruction experience so far, either through classes or work, I’ve decided I definitely need to take an instruction class next semester. I’ll also be taking a class on the process of digitization, because I feel like I’ve done a lot about what to do with digital materials but not enough about how to actually create digital materials. And finally, I’m taking a class on performance and politics in Indonesia and China. I hope to tie the content from this class back into my larger interest in the preservation of dance and how people are preserving dance in Southeast Asia currently.

I’m excited for next semester! Hopefully I’ve struck a good balance between classes and work so that I can learn from both.

For now, here are my goals for over break. I want to take some time to recharge, but I also want to take some time to get myself in a good place for my final semester.

  • Create a system for organizing my job search. I like what Jennifer did, so I’m planning on making my own variation on that technique.
  • Spend some time figuring out what my priorities in a job are, especially considering location and campus environment.
  • Knock several books off my fun reading list. I’ll be starting with Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
  • Do some research for the exhibit I’ll be putting together next semester. I specifically want to do some more digging into contemporary literature drawing on themes from the Ramayana.
  • Finish off the conference proposals and job applications that are due in December.
  • Eat lots of good food, especially pies.

What about you? How are you relaxing over break and what are your plans for next semester?


For more on the job search, see these posts by Melissa, Katrina, and Callie.


Zoë McLaughlin is a Master’s student at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at her personal blog.

Featured image from Wallboat under a Creative Commons Zero license.

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