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.
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my grad school experience, so I thought I’d do that today! I feel like I’ve been in school forever… And I have. I’ve been in grad school for three years. I honestly can’t believe it. I never thought I’d ever go to grad school, much less do a program that takes almost as long as my undergraduate degree.
I just finished up my second to last semester, and I took library marketing and collection development classes. In marketing I spent the semester writing marketing plans for a local library. The first plan was for the ENTIRE library: all of the services and programs available there. It was so complicated and long… 20 single-spaced pages. The second plan was just for the library’s teen services department and it was 16 single-spaced pages. It was fun, but super stressful because I was never really clear on what my teacher wanted. lol. I also made an 8-minute powerpoint audio/visual presentation for my first plan. The course also required I write reviews of scholarly publications and participate in weekly discussions on our required readings. It was a very intense course.
My collection development course was interesting… I was paired up with a classmate and we had to put together a 15-minute audio/visual presentation on weeding library collections. I also did a group assignment on the principles of collection development, which I did not find incredibly useful. The bulk of my final grade came from a 20-item collection I developed for the same library I used in my marketing class. I decided to do it on art and its influence on popular culture. Seeing as how I got my undergrad degree in art history, I thought this was a really fun topic and I enjoyed my 20+ hours of research. Not only did each collection item have to fit the theme, it also had to have positive professional reviews from publications such as Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. I spent a lot of time researching those and quoting them in my justifications for each item. I also had to fight for why the collection was necessary, how I would maintain the collection and add to it in the future, and I had to include an itemized list of prices and vendors. I also had to design a marketing tool to advertise the collection to the general public. We all know graphic design is my thing, and I made a large format poster that looks awesome.
I’ve always enjoyed collection development, and this was the third collection I developed for my program. I’ve also done a children’s picture book collection on multicultural friendships and a teen collection on post-apocalyptic topics (fiction, graphic novels, non-fiction, reference, DVDs, CDs, etc.). I find collection development to be a bit of a treasure hunt and I have a lot of fun searching for items. This has been something I’ve learned about myself since I joined the program, and I’m actually surprised! It’s a good kind of surprise, though.
This was probably the most work intensive semester I’ve had, hence the lack of activity going on here on the blog. I’ve done my best to keep up, but I know things slowed down a lot. I did get A’s in both classes, though! 100% in marketing and 99% in collection development, so my devotion pid off. Now I have a few months off to read and relax and enjoy the summer before jumping in to my final semester. I’m taking my last class this fall, and it’s my capstone course. Essentially, I will be designing and conducting a research study. My final paper of the program will be discussing the results of that study and their applications and relevancy to the field of information science. I already chose my topic, but more on that in a later post!