Thursday, April 24, 2014

Things to Do Before Graduating from Library School

Last night, as I was lying in bed, I had a minor freakout thinking about my life post-graduate school. One month from now, I will have my master's degree in library science. On one hand, I'm both excited and relieved that a three-year-long journey is coming to an end. But on the other hand, I'm thinking: What now?

There's a short list of things you should do 
before graduating from library school.
Image via Tumblr

Library school offered me so much more than enrichment gained from in-class learning. It also led to many new friendships, and it opened up opportunities, both social and professional, that would not have been available to me (and that I never would have known about) otherwise. Library school has been a big part of my life for a nice slice of my life that once it's over... But I suppose I'm thinking about it all wrong. In fact, in having my little freakout, I totally disregarded the 6th item on Briana Marshall's list of six "Things to Do Before You Graduate from Library School."

In a post for the website Hack Library School, Marshall said:

Try not to freak out too much about the future. Graduation brings with it lots of uncertainty, whether you have a job yet or not. There are so many variables; there is always a tradeoff. In my case, my partner of seven years and I will be living in separate cities for the first time ever. Even though I am confident it's the right choice for us and we are both excited for each other, it will be a hard transition. There aren't easy answers. It would be so easy to move from a state of panic over what job I will get into a state of panic about how (if!) we will end up together eventually, but instead I am just going with the flow. I'm choosing happiness.

In other good advice, Marshall recommends that you renew your memberships to professional organizations while you can still use your student discount:

Renew/begin professional memberships. You'll be oh so happy later on that you did this at the student rate, which is fractions cheaper than the institutional rate. This is the last time you'll be able to take advantage of your student status - go for it! I had diverse interests as a student because I didn't know where I would end up in library technology. Now that I know the specific areas I will be working in, it's easier for me to decide what organizations are most relevant to me.

I'm currently a member of more than a few professional organizations, and I will say that as a student member, I enjoy a significantly lower cost of renewing my membership to these organizations. In one case, I was able to join two organizations for the price of one, and I was able to join at least one organization for free - all because I'm enrolled in library school. There are a couple more professional organizations that I'm looking into, both focusing on audio archiving, and at least one international organization. All offer discounts to students (with proof of enrollment/matriculation, of course). Marshall's suggestion reminds me that I should sign up for these organizations while I can still save.

Another bit of wisdom that Marshall offers, and that I will take to heart, is:

See the sights. I'm taking a southern road trip to celebrate graduation and have some fun before my impending move back to the frozen tundra that is Wisconsin. I am also planning lots of day trips and weekend trips to see nearby cities that I just didn't get to over the past few years.

I'm intending to do just that, almost immediately after my graduation from library school. I'm looking at a weekend getaway to a bucolic town just north of the city, and throughout the summer I'm planning to take day trips to cities that I've long wanted to explore and are quick to get to by train. Now that I will have more time on my hands, I want to see more of the country while I can and make the most of this "in-between period" in my professional life.

For more good suggestions on "Things to Do Before You Graduate from Library School," see Briana Marshall's post for Hack Library School at THIS LINK.

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