ASSOCIATES (2006, November, v. 13, no. 2) -

Michael D. Brooks
Saint Joseph's University
Francis A. Drexel Library
Philadelphia, PA

There are many of you “sitting on the fence” trying to decide if going to library school is the right thing to do. There are no definitive answers because each case is unique, but the following brief Q&A from a newbie Librarian might help with your decision.

Q: How long have you been a librarian?

A: Almost 2 years

Q: How long have you been working as a librarian?

A: 1 1/2 years: part time Public Library; 3 months: Academic Library

Q: How would you rate your job search? Why?

A: Frustrating. Jobs either too specific or too far away. I finally found a job that I fit well with, both specifically and locally.

Q: Are you satisfied with the job you have now? Why?

A: Very. It is in the area of librarianship that I like best: public services and instructional; yet, the job responsibilities are diverse and rewarding.

Q: Would you agree that the time, money, and effort you put into going to library school as well worth the effort? Why and how so?

A: Yes. The only way to advance in the library field is with a Masters degree. I found an affordable program (Federal Stafford loan), and accepted the fact that it would not be easy as I was working full time; then just did it.

Q: Was there ever a time when you doubted your decision to go to library school?

A: No, none at all. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Q: What was the most frustrating thing about library school?

A: I was exhausted and could have used a better computer.

Q: What was the most satisfying thing about library school?

A: Being able to almost immediately apply what I was learning to my job.

Q: What has been the most rewarding thing about working as a librarian?

A: Interacting with students and faculty and teaching them how to use the library's resources.

Q: What has been the least rewarding thing about working as a librarian?

A: Nothing.

Q: Would you recommend going to library school for someone seriously considering attending? Why?

A: It's not for everyone, but if you like what a librarian does, go to grad school. If you want to increase your earnings potential, go to library school.

Q: Would you recommend working as a paraprofessional before going to graduate school?

A: Yes, it is very beneficial; if only working in a library part time.

Q: Any regrets?

A: None.

Q: Are you sure?

A: Yes.

First Serial Rights Only.
©2006 by Michael D. Brooks

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