When I entered library school in early 2019, I was slightly obsessed with planning out my degree. Part of this comes with the terrain of being an academic advisor, but […]
My plan for this summer was set to go: I was to continue working as a graduate assistant on campus, take two classes, and complete the field study requirement as […]
Like many of you, I have been experiencing a lot of emotional fatigue lately. Between our ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the events that have unfolded over the last few weeks […]
I’m attending grad school in mid-life, and it bears a stronger resemblance to being an undergrad at eighteen than I had expected: I’m learning a lot, quickly, and mostly about […]
It’s official: my Spring 2020 semester has come to an end – and I am halfway through my MLIS! Along with navigating the murky middle that comes with the mid-point […]
After three years, I’ll be graduating from my MLIS program this June. This is also my last post for Hack Library School. These three years were a whirlwind and ranged […]
Fourandsixty. (2015). [International Labour Day Edit-a-Thon, University of Maryland Hornbake Library] [Photograph]. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/UMDLabor Next week will be the first time I will not be working, in school, or both […]
There have been a couple of articles on the subject of alternative and non-traditional jobs for MLIS holders here on Hack Library School; most recently back in December of 2019 […]
I confess I wasn’t planning to write about COVID-19. But ruminating on how my month has transpired since my last post, I realized everything I was planning to write about […]
Valentine’s Day – a day set aside to celebrate the ones you love, a day devoted to one of the highest expressions of the human spirit. This past Valentine’s Day […]
The semester is winding down. Some of us are graduating and will be waiting out hiring freezes, and others of us are facing a summer with radically changed plans or […]
As this crazy Spring 2020 semester begins winding down for many students, course registration has started falling upon us. One component that I enjoy about the University of Maryland’s MLIS […]
So, last October, I wrote about how finding community during your time as a MLIS student is important, especially if you are an online student. This has become especially […]
With online learning now in full swing due to COVID-19 and physical distancing, many students are feeling the strain of isolation, uncertainty, housing and food insecurity, additional childcare or family […]
Before my area went under shelter in place orders back on March 17th, I had a library paraprofessional position and went to school full time, with plans for a summer […]
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many libraries have either closed physically and moved to online service provisionally or have closed completely and laid off their employees. My local public […]
Are you tired of the way that your library has always shelved its books? Are you eager to shake things up as the new librarian fresh out of school? Is […]
So, originally, I had planned to talk about how I have observed an observable lack of agency among some of my peers from my days as an undergraduate student to […]
This past Friday, I was leading a session on Empathy-Driven Customer Service with approximately 20 public library staff members in my county. It had been an interesting day already: I […]
If you have ever engaged with a piece of entertainment set during any historical period involving severe social events such as war or sickness, complete with emotionally charged scenes of tragedy […]
I asked some of my classmates for suggestions about what to write about this month so here’s a shout out to my friend Olivia S. at the University of Alberta […]
This week, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about all of the many things I do as a library supervisor that are not written into my job […]
In my program at the University of Illinois there’s a heavy emphasis on preparing for the library job market. At first this was welcome and was a major reason why […]
As I am sure any graduate student can attest to, planning for your career after graduation can be a little daunting. This especially is true for how to dress […]
What I’m about to say may not work for every program, professor, or class, but it’s a piece of advice I wish I had heard before I started my online […]
Courses, Paraprofessionals, and Information Organizations, Oh My: When an MLIS Starts Coming Together
During the second to last semester of my MLIS program, I can say with some amount of certainty that, however many courses one takes, there is no guarantee that any […]
In Canada, we have a regular mental health event sponsored by Bell Canada. It’s called Bell Let’s Talk Day and this year it was on Wednesday, January 29th; which falls […]
Do you want to go to library school, but don’t know how to find the best one for you? This list of factors to consider will guide you through the […]
“Tips for library school.” “What to expect in your first semester of grad school.” “What is library school like?” Do any of those search phrases sound familiar? If so, you […]
In a supportive group of professionals that brainstorm together, a potential student recently asked what subject is best to major in prior to pursuing an MLIS. I’m not an expert […]
I don’t know about anyone else, but creating New Year’s Resolutions has always been nerve-wracking for me. Personally, it’s daunting to plan something regularly over the course of 366 days […]
The new year is here, and with that, a new semester has begun. However, many of us have jobs, relationships, hobbies, and various other obligations in addition to our academic […]
Mentorship – in any form – can be an effective way for LIS students of color to learn more about the field. We learn a lot outside the classroom through jobs, internships, and volunteer experiences, and mentorship is another aspect that can help increase a student’s knowledge. Yet besides learning about the academic hiring process, dealing with negative workplace environments, or where to find job postings, mentorship of LIS students of color by mentors of color can help us see ourselves in the field, learn how to navigate white spaces, and how to advocate for ourselves.
This week marks the beginning of my new library assistant position at an academic library and, in essence, my first legitimate librarian job. On the plus side, this will not […]
2020 has just started: a new month, a new year, and a new decade. The world is a crazy place right now; so I know that long-term planning might seem […]
This week marks the beginning of my final year of graduate school. If all goes well, I will graduate in December and walk the following May. So far, it has […]
Much digital ink has been spilled, both on this site and others, about the process of selecting a graduate program in library & information science and starting such a graduate […]
Around this time of year, I always find myself reflecting on the events of the past year and preparing for the new year ahead. This has especially been the […]
To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: Imposter Syndrome, Mental Health, and Surviving Another Day
Nearly everyone in grad school has dealt or is currently dealing with imposter syndrome. Those who claim to have never suffered from it are either lying or actually are the imposters. Alyssa wrote about imposter syndrome in September so, for this post, I’d like to focus on imposter syndrome as a person of color and especially for those of us who also have mental illnesses.
Once upon a time, there were those who came out with their bachelor’s degree/master’s degree/doctorate/etc, got that interview, got that job, and stuck with it until their eventual, on time […]
It’s more than a little fitting that this post is being published today. Today marks the last class day of my third semester in library school. As hard as it […]
UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) recently had an event for its students to “hack” its graduate program. The hour-long event, titled “Managing Expectations,” was set up […]
To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: ALA Ethnic Caucuses (and more) Part 2
In this second part, I cover the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). At the end I touch on some other non-ALA groups that might be of interest to readers.
Confession: While I’ve been working in libraries since around 2011, I did not think I wanted to be a librarian until about 8 months ago when I started to look […]
I’m only in my first semester but I’m already quickly learning that the biggest part of my online classes at the University of Alberta is going to be our weekly […]
As my previous posts have illustrated, starting graduate school isn’t always easy. During your journey in graduate school, you’ll likely experience a lot of different feelings, emotions, and life […]
Sometimes, I feel like a library school unicorn. At this, the (almost) halfway point of my journey to my MLS, I seem to be the only one who hasn’t fallen […]
PLA 2020 in “Music City” is just around the corner! For many in the LIS field, conferences full of thousands of people can be an overwhelming yet necessary experience. This […]
In my previous posts, I have regularly exalted the importance of finding and establishing a sense of community while attending graduate school. This is especially true when you are attending […]
Before even starting library school, students can join local and national associations, such as the American Library Association, often at a student rate. Within ALA are five ethnic caucuses: the American Indian Library Association (AILA), the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Chinese American Library Association (CALA) and REFORMA—the National Association to Promote Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.
I listened intently while the instructor in my collection management class spoke about the importance of library policies. Of course, one assignment required that we review policies. It was during […]
Allison Jennings-Roche recently wrote about attending conferences outside of library land and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, just a few months ago, I was at a cross-disciplinary workshop facilitated […]
One of the classes I am taking this term is Information Access and Retrieval. Back in the day, I suspect this course would have simply been titled Reference, but the […]
As I’ve mentioned before in my previous posts, starting graduate school can be stressful. This is especially true if you’re starting a program you have no previous field experience in; […]
Social media can be an excellent way to promote and market library services and resources. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook open up opportunities to engage in conversation with patrons, increase library […]
Let’s face it. Most students who are getting a graduate degree are driven. Many, including me, work full time. And many are taking two classes and still trying to achieve […]
I am not exactly a novice when it comes to academic conferences. Not only have I presented and won statewide awards (twice!) before, but I also have experience from the […]
If you read my last post, you know I went on a study abroad trip to the Netherlands with my MLIS program. I also traveled on my own for fun; […]
Starting graduate school, let alone college in general, can be a stressful experience. From selecting colleges and universities to apply to and being accepted to selecting a major, finding a […]
It’s the end of the summer term, and all my final projects are due soon. To make matters worse, back when I had more energy and the sun was shining, […]
You’ve applied, made it past the interview(s), and have accepted a new position! But soon you realize that the workplace isn’t what you were expecting – in fact, it’s quickly going downhill. It started with a few questionable comments from coworkers and has spiraled into microaggressions, lack of support, toxic relationships, and maybe even harassment. Drawn from my own experiences and talking with others in the field, this article will discuss strategies for surviving negative workplace environments. It will focus specifically on student internships and jobs but is also relevant to those in temp positions. See the first two articles of this series (applications and interviews) for more information.
This summer, we participated in the Atkins Fellows program at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. We were the fifth cohort of the […]
I am completing two literature courses this week: Picture Books Across the Curriculum and Young Adult Materials. In ten short weeks, I read 300 picture books and 10 Young Adult […]
What is a librarian without their library? This isn’t some ancient riddle that you only learn the answer to once you’ve earned that hallowed MLS (or MLIS, or MIS, or […]
Sometimes, one of the best decisions you can make in your academic career is to go off the beaten track, and challenge expectations, even your own. After coming off one […]
I just finished a study abroad program in the Netherlands with my school, the University of Washington. The course topic was innovation in the cultural heritage sector with both honors […]
Speaking as someone who is relatively new to the library and information science field, the past six months have been a huge learning curve for me as I have continued […]
You’ve done your research, written your cover letter, and have just been contacted for an interview! But the research and preparation doesn’t stop now. An interview will allow you to directly ask about workplace culture, staff, and other important aspects about a job that could make or break a decision. This article is part of a larger series about navigating workplace culture – how to learn about the culture of an organization, decide what’s best for you, and dealing with negative experiences once in a position.
Cover Photo by Aubrey Young I am about halfway through the number of semesters that I have come to commit to my MLIS program. Looking back, it is one thing […]
In our lifetimes, experiencing natural disasters is an inevitable reality. For example, being a native Southern Californian, earthquakes have been a consistent source of stress in my region; especially within […]
I have been reflecting on my experiences in graduate school and I want to share some of these thoughts, primarily related to survival. Since April, I have had conversations with […]
Library school (heck, graduate school in general) can be an all-consuming time-suck, if you let it become that. Even in my 1.5 semesters of library school (plus all of the […]
As most of us reading Hack Library School know, or at least have heard, the MLIS is a “minimum qualification” for actual employment as a big L academic librarian. Some […]
It has been discussed here on the Hack Library School Blog why LIS education must include social justice curriculum. Many schools are starting to incorporate this into their programs through […]
For MLIS students hoping to gain full-time employment in the LIS field after graduation, work experience – whether through a job, internship, or volunteer position – is necessary to stand out from other applicants. Yet while we are told repeatedly by professors and professionals to complete an internship or another work experience during grad school, there is little discussion about what to look for in an internship, how to evaluate worksites, and how to handle poor treatment during the internship.
Over recent months, a pattern has emerged in much of the networking that has shaped my professional life and the professional lives of those around me. In life and in […]
No amount of coursework can prepare you for the experiences you will have as a children’s librarian. In one week you might make mermaid slime, wear a giant inflatable dinosaur […]
Cover Photo by Aubrey Young I’ve been doing assignments of late that involve me seeking out reference librarians and evaluating them with my inquiries and it’s got me thinking about […]
For those just entering library school I thought I would share something I wasn’t expecting: the assumption that you secure an internship, graduate assistantship, volunteer position, and/or apprenticeship sooner than later […]
It is important that children are introduced to books at preschool age. This is the period when the little ones best absorb the information and skills taught to them. Books […]
For the sake of context, I’m going to talk about myself for a moment. In addition to being a new contributing writer here at Hack Library School, I am an […]
It’s time for my final post, and is of course obligatory here at Hack Library School, I’ll be writing about finishing school and that dreaded job hunt. As Melissa so […]
For my final post at Hack Library School, I wanted to share some bits and pieces that I’ve gleaned during the incipient few years of my library career. Before I […]
The “first” of anything has the capacity to be stress-inducing, from first days of school to first days on the job and beyond. This is especially true when it comes […]
As more MLIS programs integrate tech courses and requirements into their curriculum, many MLIS students who are not tech-savvy nor have a tech background struggle in these courses. At the University of Washington, there are numerous tech courses available for students and a requirement that every student takes at least one of these courses. I’ve heard stories and also personally experienced the struggles of these courses and even some of the mental breakdowns. Many students dread these courses and the long hours they often require.
If there is one thing that the average Master in Information and Library Science candidate is familiar with, it is the constant need for balance: school, work, internships, volunteering, and that is just a baseline that does not take into account added complications such as marriage, or kids.
My first experience with an online class was British Literature my sophomore year. I began the semester excited about the flexibility an online class provides and the idea that I could be “in class” in my pajamas at home. I mean, who wouldn’t love that?
When you’re caught up in the minutiae of graduate school, remember the big picture. That’s the most critical lesson I learned during my first year of library school. For me, […]
Are you done? Have you submitted that last paper, or taken your final exam? Are you trying to catch up on all those chores you could not get to because you were […]
As I reach the end of my first semester in graduate school, I’ve taken some time to reflect on my experiences so far in my program. Being in an […]
At 21 years old and about to graduate, I was afraid to move. Not only had I lived and attended university in the same area I grew up in, but I was worried I wouldn’t be able to support myself financially. So, I found myself again at the University of Washington (UW), this time in a library program that did not have an archives focus. Yet I wanted to become an archivist and the two or three archives-focused classes offered was off-putting. I was afraid I wouldn’t gain the skills that would make me a competitive applicant once I graduate.
While working on my MLIS degree I’m also working as a library aide between two elementary schools. Let me tell you… kids are quite the patrons…
By day, I am an academic advisor for medical students. I enroll students, counsel student, and generally make sure at least one small slice of the next generation of doctors […]
Like so many others before me, I too have now come full circle from aggressively reading this site’s entire archive while deciding whether to send out my library school applications […]
The biggest worry I had before starting library school was about group projects. Online group projects.
As the 2018-2019 school year draws to a close, use these words of wisdom in the form of horoscopes as advice to inspire you as you continue toward the finish […]