4 things i learned the first year of library school

although i obtained my MLIS a few months ago, i gained a great wealth of knowledge during my first year of library school…and i’m certainly not the only one. on the INALJ website, a current LIS student shares what they’ve learned so far as to be crucial to achieving success both in and out of the classroom during year one:

  1. it’s important to pair education with experience: i was fortunate to have already been (and still be) working in a library setting when i started the LIS program, although there were plenty of concepts and skills that were new to me. but i did what any student would do, and not only read about them but put them to practice. many schools offer graduate assistantships, which are part-time paid positions that allow students to assist professors, or work in the campus library and registrar’s office. so if working full-time isn’t possible, this is an option to earn a little cash while gaining a lot of experience.
  2. courses are challenging, but not as difficult as imagined: some courses were a lot more stressful than others (reading 30 YA Lit books in 6 weeks was time-consuming-yet-fun, and thanks to some of the more tech-based classes i am now less overwhelmed by coding language than i was when i first read the syllabuses), but they can help prepare students along the way. if there are assignments that are giving a bit of trouble, students shouldn’t be afraid to ask their professors questions to clarify anything that might be confusing.
  3. group work is inescapable: a group work setting (if utilized properly) can be a great way to not only make friends and networking contacts, but it also demonstrates leadership and teamwork skills. there is still the misconception that librarians are solitary workers, but that is not necessarily accurate. it is also important to divide the work equally so everyone can contribute to the assignment.
  4. technology is everywhere: digital information is on the rise, and libraries are more than just book hubs. Metadata is a key word in librarian jargon, and it’s important that LIS students can demonstrate their knowledge with hands-on experience. Code Academy is a terrific site for practicing HTML, CSS, and other coding languages…and it’s free!







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