Deciding on a future career is no easy task, but for book lovers a career clad in sensible shoes and a bun always seems to spring to mind: Librarianship! Once you’ve settled on professionally wearing thick-rimmed glasses un-ironically for the rest of your life there’s nine things you need to…
I’d like to offer my (ack!) 17 years of experience since library school on this post. It mostly reinforces what librarylydia has to say. See her(?) full post to see what I’m reacting too.
1 – It’s true. I really wish there was a Bachelor’s of Library Science that had wide acceptance but there isn’t. Even if the hiring manager is sympathetic to you, HR will tie their hands. I do believe in a library degree and credential, I’m just not convinced it has to be a master’s.
2 – I disagree. I have a bachelor’s in History and that along with my MLIS and a fanaticism about lifelong learning have given me a good career. I think it is more important to enjoy your bachelor’s experience and know that field’s resources well. Learn how to think critically and how to analyze and you’ll do fine.
3 – For the first part of your career this is true. Depending on your area of the country and specialization, it could be true forever. It wasn’t true for me. After about 10 years at a professional job, my salary as a manager then as a technology specialist got to be pretty good. I also have more leave hours than I know what to do with. And my library is liberal about letting me take leave.
4 – I would say that only about half of what you’re taught in library school won’t be of value on the front lines. But librarylydia is right that you should get experience any way you can. Aside from making you more marketable, it could decide you on whether you like libraries. At one time I wanted to be a lawyer. Working as support staff for two major US law firms cured me of that desire.
5 – This is true. It’s so true I wish my library school program had classes in communications and psychology. I really thing that would have helped.
6 – If you can’t accept this, the profession doesn’t need you. Really.
7 – This is good advice to aspiring writers as well as librarians. If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend 396 Books and Other Resources Writers Recommend by Holly Lisle.
In addition, I’d recommend reading at least one computer/technology magazine. I like Maximum PC. Even if you don’t understand every article, at least you’ll have heard of the IT terms your tech team throws at you.
8 – Yes! And you can start by using the Ask box of Tumblrians. Although there are a few things I would only tell you in person.
9 – This is true. It is also a great field for a generalist. If you’ve got insatiable curiosity and don’t know where to settle down, the profession has a place for you!
I don’t know how it didn’t get added automatically, but thanks to thegirlwhoisthursday for putting this on my dash.