That Artsy Librarian | This Semester Might Kill Me

Posted August 22, 2014 by Jana in About Me, That Artsy Librarian / 8 Comments


That Artsy Librarian is a feature all about my journey through graduate school as I work towards my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.


So, I officially began my second year of graduate school on Monday, and I am already stressing to the max. I guess it’s not the beginning of the semester unless I’m flailing throughout the first week, before realizing I can do this because I’ve done it before. The thing is, though, I’m serious this time! I might not survive!

I’m taking two classes this semester (my counselor considers this a full load, and I’d be rather nuts for trying to stack on three courses, thus the reason the program takes three years…). One of them is Library Programming for Children and Young Teens. This one should be fun! I get to visit libraries, visit children’s book sections, interview a children’s librarian, develop a program (with a CRAFT. This is artsy librarian to the FULLEST.), and then present the program to a group of kids. How fun does that sound!? I’ll be fine. It’s the OTHER class I’m scared of.

I’m also taking The Organization of Information this semester, which is a required core course or I would have stayed as far away from it as possible. Basically, this class’s name is fancy talk for Cataloging. *cringe* My professor is very nice and helpful so far, but I am worried my brain is just not big enough for this class. He has mentioned several times that it’s a complicated course. He has mentioned that we will need to read some of class readings multiple times before they sink in. And he has said we have to learn two (TWO) cataloging coding languages (AACR2 and RDA). WHAT. I don’t even understand this class enough to tell you what our projects are like. I’ve begun reading the manuals for the coding languages, and I guess I’m too dumb to even figure out what I’m reading. The manuals are written using English words, but the way they are strung together has me so confused that I would probably understand Japanese better. I’m terrified. TERRIFIED. I can only hope that things will make more sense as we continue through the course, because right now I look pitiful.

So, is anyone else worried about this semester/year?
Have any of you taken Cataloging and survived?
Do any of you know AACR2 or RDA? Will I survive?
Basically, I need a pep talk here.

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8 responses to “That Artsy Librarian | This Semester Might Kill Me

  1. Sounds like you have a hard semester ahead but I’m sure you will pull through with flying colors! You’re other class sounds very interesting. Good luck!


  2. Jana, I am sure that in the end this class will be no problem at all. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, you know where to find me. I know how terrifying some classes can be but in the end we all survived and so will you. I also had courses where I had no idea how to form a meaning behind the required reading and I’m sure the professor tries to get you all to work hard so that you’ll pass. They usually make it sound scarier than it is. I believe in you and if you ever need me, just holler :)
    Karin @ My Life… recently posted……in books

  3. I don’t know anything about those coding languages, but I’m willing to bet a) the professor is overstating (every professor who’s ever told me his/her class is incredibly tough has wound up being a breeze), and b) the coding will make sense once you start DOING it. At least, that’s how the little HTML/CSS I know worked. :) Good luck and take it easy!
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Discussion: Indie/Self-Published Reads

  4. I don’t know anything about cataloging but I’m starting my first semester on anatomy and oh gosh, it certain seems another language and I’m kind of freaking out because SO. MANY. NAMES. sigh.

  5. So it sounds like your Organization of Information class is more intense than mine was. In ours we just BRIEFLY covered all of the ways different libraries catalog and organize. We had to look at and analyze MARC records, which seems daunting but most of the time you have a guide that tells you what you are looking at so it makes it easier. Hopefully it won’t be as overwhelming as it seems right now.

    Just keep thinking about your programming class! And look toward December! Huzzah for library grad students! =)