Next in our series of behind-the-scenes information about our library, we'll talk to Jackson H, one of our Children's Librarians, about his experience attending Library School.
When did you know you wanted to work as a librarian?
I made the final decision about a month before getting accepted into the Master’s program and about a year before I got the job as a part-time librarian.
You had different plans in college. What caused you to pivot?
My degree was in teaching. I got to teach in a variety of situations and loved much of it but decided I wanted to shift to something that would be different but have many of the same elements.
How long is your grad program? What's library school like?
I will finish my program this December which will be 2 years and 4 months from my first day of classes, going year-round. Library school can be very different for each person depending on the path they choose. Some common threads between many students and professors that I have encountered are love of books, desire to serve a community, and conviction of the importance of universal access to books and information.
Give a taste of what kind of classes you take for your Master's Degree.
I have taken classes on reference work, history and genres of youth literature, web design, participatory learning including makerspaces, Web 2.0, library management, survey research, and information retrieval systems among others.
What's the most difficult concept you've had to grasp while studying librarianship?
There are about as many schools of thought about what role libraries and librarians should play as there are people. The most difficult and complex part of studying librarianship has been determining my own personal philosophy and then living by it. Some other less theoretical yet difficult concepts have been metadata and cybersecurity, privacy and copyright, and some of the technical aspects of information retrieval.
Has working at our Library helped you with school?
Yes, it has. I am able to not only discuss real experiences I’ve had as a librarian with my peers and in assignments, but I am able to marry the practical with the theoretical in my mind.
Have your classes helped you with your job here?
Yes they have. In my job at the library I am able to use some very specific skills that I have acquired from school. I also am able to use some assignments in school as jumping off points for work assignments such as proposals.
What do you think the library of the future will look like?
That’s a loaded question. Libraries in different areas and in different situations will take different forms of evolution. However, in general I think that libraries will continue to increase technological offerings and digital access. Programs and classes will become more and more important as libraries seek to provide services the community wants and needs. Physical books will also still be an important part of libraries for many years to come.