grad school

What’s in a program?

Recently a panel of Catholic University of America faculty and department affiliates interviewed me as a part of a scholarship application process. They were very intrigued about my affiliation with […]

Why We Decided on the PhD

I have a lot of MLS students ask me why I decided to go on to a PhD, so I rounded up some of my PhD buddies to give you some answers! Everyone has different reasons for doing the PhD, and while it may not be the right choice for […]

Recruiting New LIS Students

I was excited to read recently that ALA is sponsoring a series of informational workshops with the hopes of recruiting a wider pool of students interested in library & information science. The workshops, which are an IMLS-funded partnership between the ALA Office for Diversity & Spectrum Scholarship Program and LIS graduate programs in […]

Memorable LIS Class Assignments

Over the course of our library school careers, we complete dozens of assignments, from reading articles for class discussion to completing research papers and group projects. Many assignments blend together as our library school experience prepares us to begin a variety of careers in library and information science. Some assignments […]

Why Not to Take Traditional Library Courses

Looking at the coursework titles from my four semesters at GSLIS it would be hard to guess what specific LIS profession I am most passionate about. I am graduating this May (*reminder to breathe*) with a Community Informatics certificate and have taken courses in project management, community engagement, web design […]

Library Buildings

This semester I’m taking a class on library buildings. “Library buildings? Is that a class?” you ask? Indeed it is! Taught by Fred Schlipf, an LIS professor, library buildings consultant, and former public library director, the course is an introduction to the physical spaces that LIS institutions occupy. One of the […]

Service Learning: Friend or Foe?

One of my courses this semester (Community Informatics) required a sizable amount of “service learning” (for those who don’t know, service learning is basically community service/volunteering activities that are incorporated into a course). When I mentioned the extensive, unpaid time commitment that the service learning represented to a friend of […]

Library School Mergers

I recently received an email via my library school’s student listserv explaining that our university Provost has asked the library school and the College of Media to explore “integrating their two units.” It is very early in the exploratory process, and certainly not a sure thing yet, but it got me […]

When Do We Need a Translator?

When evaluating which courses to take, students often start with the list of undeniably library-specific courses: reference, cataloging, archives, etc. But as the profession continues to evolve it has become more and more interdisciplinary. Library students today take end up taking everything from web programming to marketing, from database design […]

Obstacles & How to Deal with Them

As I finish up my MLIS (August graduation!) and start my certificate program, I find myself wanting to share a little library school wisdom. So things might get a little feelings-heavy, but bear with me; also, this advice goes to both new and returning library students: Library school is a […]

The Foreboding Finale: Master’s Capstone

In my program (UNC SILS), all master’s students are required to complete a capstone paper or project prior to graduation. Both options require students to approach a “problem” in information or library science in a “substantial and scholarly way.” No small feat, right? I bet a bunch of you out […]

Start reading job ads now

One piece of advice that multiple people gave me around the time I started library school is: it is never too early to start reading library job ads (especially if you’ve already started library school). Of course the library hiring process is not so lengthy that you need to start actually […]

3 Unexpected Library School Lessons

Some of my favorite questions to ask librarians during informational interviews revolve around surprise: What has most surprised you about your current role or about your career path? Is there anything you wish you had known sooner? I’ve found their answers to be particularly useful as I try to figure […]

Presenting Your Best Self

Library school is full of presentations. Whether it’s a short, informal talk or a long, detailed speech, I’ve had to give some kind of presentation for almost every library school class I’ve taken. Partly just a given in academia, frequent presentations will also be a reality for many of us in our […]

The Undercover Library Student

Your task is to develop a persona, and make up a research question that persona might ask.  It can be anything you want.  Once you have a question, take it to a reference desk at a library/archive/historical society of your choosing. Then write a paper about the experience. Sound familiar? […]

Gaining Experience in School

For graduate students, ‘practical experience’ can mean a lot of different things. For some of us this means traveling to foreign countries for digs and research, volunteering in labs, internships at potential employers, or simply participation in conferences and papers. Regardless, practical participation in our fields is extremely important to […]

HackLibSchool, meet GradHacker.

All, I am pleased and honored to introduce something special that we are doing this week. We will be working with our colleagues over at GradHacker in a collaborative blog post-a-thon. Here at HackLibSchool you’ll be reading posts from some GradHacker writers, while we will be posting over there this […]