library school

Sifting Through The Advice

My first two MLS classes start on Tuesday and I have been searching the Internets to figure out the best way to have an excellent semester. A lot of advice is out there on library school if you look for it and here is a list of the advice I plan to take to heart.

1. Join a student organization.
2. Get library experience while getting your MLS.
3. Utilize social networking sites.
4. Build relationships with your professors.
5. Find a mentor (or two).

To help with the last one, I’m going to attend a speed mentoring event that’s happening in October. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do you have a mentor?

P.S. Another bonus piece of advice that I’m pretty sure Lesley mentioned was getting a laptop, and I did that this weekend.

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8 thoughts on “Sifting Through The Advice

  1. My top two suggestions would be getting library experience in library school and finding a mentor.

    I’d say working in a library during library school is almost critical–try to complete1-2 major projects to showcase on your CV. Doing so will also give you ready-made subject matter for all the research you’ll do, by the end of your program you’ll be something of an expert in a subject. Library work also gives you an edge in class because you already have a good sense for the material. It helps when applying for opportunities like fellowships and residencies to already have a bit of real-world experience. Most importantly, employers love to see that you have work experience. Volunteer work is OK, but paid experience is ideal–even if it’s a graduate assistantship.

    Finding a mentor is sort of trial-and-error–you want someone with some experience in the subjects you’re interested in, someone fairly established in the profession, and someone with the time to commit to meeting with you (most important!). I’d suggest asking potential candidates if they have at least an hour a month to spare to chat over coffee/dessert or at least Skype. Don’t be surprised if your first candidate doesn’t work–mine didn’t and it fell to me to tell her our schedules were just to different to have a beneficial relationship. My second attempt worked out wonderfully.

  2. Well,

    I concur with your top five choices. I have only been successful at 2 of the 5 that you suggested. I will definitely try to make the ‘speed mentorship’ event. I also would add writing/blogging on things that you find interesting in the field. I enjoy reading your blog. My main focus this semester will be time management. Have a great semester.

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