6 People You Meet at Online Library School

One of the underrated joys of library school is being able to observe your fellow classmates. We come from different places and backgrounds, it’s true, but after a while, you start to see certain personality tropes emerging from the landscape of online library school. Here are the ones that I guarantee will or have popped up on your journey.

The Early Bird

This person is always the first one to post on the discussion board. You respect them because they obviously have their life together, but you also kind of hate them because they were the first person to make the point that everyone is going to regurgitate with different verbiage. Something that probably annoys this prodigy is that we make them wait for the rest of us to post before they can respond to us. At the same time, the Early Bird is a real one because they look ahead and ask the professor the questions we would have asked if we had looked at the assignment at a responsible time. Thank you, Early Bird, for saving us the embarrassment of emailing the professor with a paper question 12 hours before it is due. 

The Chronic Procrastinator 

This is a robust segment of the student population. If our discussion is due at 11:59pm, this person posts at 11:37pm. Pretty much defeats the purpose of the discussion as the professor intended, but it’s not against the rules. Since this person has waited until the last minute, they have absolutely nothing original to say. Frequent phrases seen in their posts are “As X eloquently put” or “I agree with Y’s thoughtful analysis.” Chronic Procrastinator, the polite acknowledgments of your plagiarism are much appreciated. 

The Philosophy Bro

I use the term “bro” loosely because this is not exclusive to gender, it’s a vibe. This person loves dropping conceptual and abstract theories that they learned in undergrad and shoehorning them into whatever topic we’re covering that week. This person thinks they are very smart (they might be), but honestly, I have no idea what they’re talking about. It could be completely made-up. Hey, we’re all BS-ing our discussion posts, so I recognize this is just one more way to do so. I salute your strategy, good sir. 

The Professor

Not all of them do this, but some instructors are intrepid enough to explore the discussion board frontier. They’re generally very kind and constructive, but it’s unsettling proof that they’re actually reading the drivel we put up there. We’re so used to seeing just us students in online class that the professor can feel like an anonymous but benevolent deity floating around in the internet ether. So when the prof enters the chat, it’s a bit like seeing a dog walk on its hind-legs. It’s just not natural. 

The Pain-in-the-Ass Group Member

This person is never available when the group is trying to find a time to meet. When you do find a time that is convenient exclusively for them, they are late. They turn in their portion of the project incomplete, late, or just plain incorrect. This person either quibbles about insignificant details or has no idea what is going on. These behaviors make it awkward to fill out peer assessments because you don’t want to nark, but also this person is genuinely decreasing your quality of life. You are very relieved to be done with this person when the project is over. 

The, Wait, You’re in Our Class? 

A close relation to the Chronic Procrastinator, you have never seen this person the entire semester. All of a sudden in the last week of school they are EVERYWHERE. They are posting on stuff from the second week that you have long since forgotten. There is no intellectual point to what they are doing – it is purely so that they don’t fail the class. This is not my cup of tea but at least they’re getting it done. That’s gotta count for something? 

Photo by Tony Tran on Unsplash

Melissa Grasso lives in Boston and is in her second year at Simmons University. She works as a library assistant where she specializes in course reserves, copy cataloging, and social media management. You can find her on Twitter @grassbro or LinkedIn.

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