I've just finished my second class weekend, which marks one month (more or less) of library school. In that time I've read about half of three required texts, plus portions of about five more non-required texts because I'm that much of a nerd. I've done two professional interviews, and one diagnostic interview. I've also turned in a few short writing assignments -- full marks on all of the above, thank you -- and have two bigger group projects underway. Given that I am basically at liberty with no kids or spouse to look after and no full-time job to work, it's all been perfectly manageable, at least as long as I can keep myself organized. (I have a feeling as my life gets more complicated and my academic work advances, though, that David Allen
may be making a re-appearance in my life.) Since I am an eager little bunny with a lot of available time, I've also picked up spots in a couple of professional associations -- I'm now the events coordinator for SLIM-Oregon SCALA
, and the student liaison for the Oregon chapter of the SLA
Which is to say, I'm getting all up in this student librarian thing.
This weekend we had our first face-to-face classes with a new professor, so we did another round of introductions (and not the last, I'm sure.) Everybody went around and said their names, and then said something about which field they were most interested in. This is quickly becoming my least-favorite question. It's not that I don't know what I'm interested in, it's that I have no idea how to encompass so many things in one tidy label. I wish I were one of those students who could just say, "children's librarianship!" or "archiving!" and know that, as complex as those fields might be, everybody basically understood. Instead, until I either find the right label or become more fluent in librarian-speak, I feel like I'm just standing there reeling off a list of vaguely-related terms. "I'm Amy, and I'm interested in open access issues... and copyright... and media... and empirical research... and the use of technology in librarianship."
(That last one especially makes me feel like a bit of a doofus; seriously, who's not interested in the use of technology in librarianship? But what I really mean is, for example: QR codes are annoying, but the idea that you can embed links in the real world is pretty cool. The situation surrounding copyright and piracy and open access is a giant clusterfuck, but a world in which all information is free makes librarianship and its ethics potentially hugely relevant. That sort of thing. Not that that makes me any less of a doofus.)
Anyway, when pressed to pick a field I say "special collections," because seriously, that could mean anything. But I do struggle a bit with the idea that all of the things I'm interested in are very interconnected, but don't have an easy label associated with them. (If you know of one, please tell me.) I'll also admit to a certain amount of academic impatience. I understand very well the need to get the theoretical foundations in place, but I've already got a long list of concepts that I'm eager to chew on, and I can get a little frustrated with the elementary nature of my assignments. And then I start worrying because my classmates all seem very tense about them, and I'm not sure whether that means I'm really that on top of my work, or just that far behind.
So that's one month down, and I'm more excited about what I'm doing now than I was when I began. So on the whole, I'd say it was a good first month.
A little light bedtime reading.