11 Things New Library School Students Should Know

I'm finishing my second quarter at Drexel and here are somethings that you should know before you start your first quarter in library school.  Not all of these will apply to all people.

  1. Talk with financial aid and ask if there are any corporate or association discounts (Drexel offers 20% off for ALA membership).  These discounts are not always advertised so if you don't ask you will not receive.  Remember that all discounts must be applied to your account before your tuition is paid.  There are no retroactive tuition breaks.
  2. For those who have lost their job or quit, after approximately 12 weeks out of work most financial aid offices can review your status.  It might not get you more aid but you may get a better mix of subsidized v. unsubsidized loans.
  3. Make sure and check your program website weekly as you lead up to the term, they don't always remember to announce everything in an e-mail.
  4. Organization is the key to doing well in library school.  Buy an organizer, get out your chalk board, use whatever helps you to stay focused and on track.  The classes go by fast and if you get behind it's almost impossible to catch up.

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A good article. Now, sit down, write this up, and publish it in a library journal.
Item number 12 is the number of things a lis student should know is the impact of your professional writings. So, even while in library school, you should think about adding to the body of library science literature.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

Thanks for the support and suggestion! May I steal your idea?

12. Always order the soft taco. When you only have $1 for lunch, order the soft taco because they always stuff more food into it.

13. You can sleep out in the lobby between classes and it's unlikely that another library school student will draw on your face with a permanent marker.

14. Since you will never be home, you can room with almost anybody, with any annoying habits. Trust me, you won't be home for anything other than sleeping and showering.

15. Go to the gym. Library School is your one chance to get in shape before you become a librarian and spend 15 years on your ass in front of a desk. Take advantage of your student status and hit the treadmill.

16. Don't be invisible. But don't be helpless. If your library school has some club, ask to be an officer. Believe me, no one else wants to do it; that's how I became Treasurer.

17. Visit local public libraries. Take a look at your future (if that's where you're going). But when you're in the library, please, for the love of God, stay away from the bathrooms.

18. Don't be afraid to let people like you. I saw many library school students who forgot to have some fun. If possible, fall in love with someone with better career prospects than you and get married. Being a librarian will not make you rich, so don't marry one, either.

19. No matter how hard you work, or how much you learn, it won't be enough to convince anyone that librarians need to go to school to learn how to do what we do. Don't let it bother you.

Thanks for these great additions! I completely agree with 16, I was Treasurer for a student chapter as an undergrad many years ago.

I also completely agree with 19, I can't even count the number of people at this point who said something along the lines of 'Why do you have to get a master's to be a librarian?'.

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