There and Back Again

I've decided to fold my cards in the MLS game, although it is an intriguing program. My decisions are solely based upon my own realizations and are not in any way a reflection of the SU program.

Now that I've gotten that disclaimer out of the way, I hope I can still keep my spot here with y'all. ;-) It's a great news spot, even for those of us who are not, nor will ever be, librarians. :-)


If it's personal, no need to share, but if you have insights as to why LIS education is flawed or not what you thought it'd be, I think it would be useful to hear.

Hey Bookworm! I totally *get* the hours of bulletin boards and the online extravaganza of the distance mlis. Sorry to hear you are leaving, but cheers for recognizing that it was time to get out. I am in my first semester, and have found much joy in some aspects of the distance ed life, and others are difficult and frustrating. Actually, I just got your message from a few weeks ago, and was about to write you back...all school and no play, leaves gratzee an lisnews-less girl. best wishes to you, and i hope to still *see* you around. if you are interested in the mlis-uiuc-synchronous world, let me know...

My 19 year old would have a few things to tell your 15 year old about ancient parental units. But my advice is you're NEVER too old to try new stuff. I find new things I want to learn about all the time. For example I'd like to be able to compete in a Jeopardy match with Ken-Jen and make a good showing, although I haven't figured out how to do that yet.

In Canada, to the best of my knowledge, to be classified as an LT, one has to take a two year diploma course at a community/trade type college (we used to call them 'vocational' schools here).

I suppose you could work/train your way into an LT or LT equivalent position, but I'd recommend taking a course. If only to get a good background and training in the various aspects of the library. Plus, if you happened to get into a larger organisation if you wanted to move up, I assume it would easier if you had the diploma. I'm not totally sure on that as I work in a school board, where I run my own library and there isn't any advancement.


slashgirl, just wondering,does being a LT or paraprofessional involve taking courses, or is it more of a matter of finding a library that's looking to hire and train?

Have you considered becoming a Library Technician instead of an MLS? As much as it seems the MLS is the ONLY worthwhile position in a library (kidding, I'm kidding!!!), being a Library Tech can be rewarding as well. Then again, never having been an MLS, I can't compare the two.

Granted, it's less pay than an MLS, but it's still library work, and you may find the stuff that disinterests you may not be something you need. Of course, I don't know if you could take the course near where you live. Distance ed obviously isn't something you're interested in doing (it does sound very challenging). If you wanted to work in the library world, this might be an option for you.

I've been an LT for *gulp* almost 10 years (will be in June 05) and worked in an elementary school for 7 years (as of Oct.). In our school board, LTs are the only staff in the schools in our board, so one gets to be in charge. In most situations, as an LT you'd be support staff which may or may not suit you.

Just a reminder that there is more out there than the MLS....


That first line should have read "Rochelle, it's NOT that I think..."

Oh my kingdom for an edit button!

Rochelle, it's that I think there is anything wrong with the LIS program - though I do want to put in some mention of the fact that doing it online and having to keep track of 5 different discussions (topics) going on with a class of about 45 people plus the few brave on campus souls who, on occasion would dare to post, makes it one helluva time intensive deal! Why every time you log off thinking you're up to date, you turn it back on to find that all these people have added their thoughts and you're supposed to respond in kind! This is quite different from an on campus class.

I think the field is fascinating; but, quite frankly, there are some aspects of it that just don't interest me that much. If I were a little less long in the tooth, I might have been more willing to hang in there long term. I am, as my soon to be 15 year old likes to remind me, now “half a century old� and have worked in a variety of fields…been on the “mommy track� for a long time and am trying to find a new path. I'd thought LIS might be it. I love researching and was looking forward to learning more about the “how to� of that - I'm especially interested in using the Internet - and using it well - to research things. However, since subscribing to multiple Listservs, I began to get a much clearer view of what being a librarian is about - from the public to the academic, and even a bit of a view of the corporate information specialist. By reading these Listservs, I began to see that it's a pretty deep field and that even after completing the 36 credits (multiply about $2,800 per 3 credits) that the chances of a 55 year old getting a spot were likely to be few and far between. In addition, I just realized that the content of many of the classes didn't sound as though it was really up my alley…though, as I've said before, it might have been if I had come upon it much earlier in my life.

At this stage of the game, perhaps I'm better of learning how one of my super, almost local, libraries really works and taking advantage of all that's there in order to figure out what comes next. ;-)

Daniel, far from it - I'm not turned off to LIS or library staff at all! You all have my greatest respect and admiration for making it through a pretty demanding graduate program, for working in our crazy world, for being so knowledgeable and helpful - and for maintaining your sense of humor! Oh yes, and for being so “into� your work rather than becoming numb and dull as so many do in their careers.

By the way, Mdoneil, I got a chuckle out of your joke so that must mean you all have rubbed off on me, eh?

And ChuckB, thanks for your encouragement, too. ;-)

So, I guess I'll stick around these parts - who knows maybe some other facet of new, information science and politics will set me off in a new and more appropriate direction. :-)

If you want to continue FSU has a 42 hour program that can be complete by DL. I know several students that take only 1 class a semester.

Of course we want you to stay. You may have to have someone explain librarian jokes

Q: How many catalogers does it take to change a lighbulb?
A: See also, sources of illumination.

(It worries me that I think that is funny)

Now that I've gotten that disclaimer out of the way, I hope I can still keep my spot here with y'all. ;-)

By all means, please do stay.

If your school experience hasn't turned you off to LIS issues, or library staff in general, stay abord!Hope the rest of your life is working out ok.

Grazie, gratzee! ;-)

It really wasn't the distance part of it all that made me decide to throw in the towel. It's difficult to explain online in a journal without boring to tears anyone who might stumble across it, though of course they could easily move on! Let's just say that I don't want to use up inordinate amounts of bandwidth with my rambling reasonings. That said, the short version is that the "idea" of the MLS is still exciting and interesting - some particular courses much more so than others, but the reality of my finishing this program up quickly are nil, thus approaching the job market as a 55+ year old (with a daughter who'll be in college just about then) didn't seem too heartening. Sure, sure, I'm sure it can be, has been and is being done, but I decided that I didn't have the drive deep enough in my bones to get through it all. Certain aspects interest me very much and others really do not. I just wasn't willing to make the sacrifice, both financially and personally, to make the long term commitment. (Do I sound like someone who just wants a "relationship" but doesn't want to "get married"?)

I think I envisioned myself more as the go between, between the seekers and keepers of the informational flames, rather than the ultimate gatekeeper. In the mean time, I truly bow down to those of you who are already keepers of the flames, and to those who are climbing the stairways within the graduate programs that will enable you to keep those flames burning in order to open the information world to others. :-)
Subscribe to Comments for "There and Back Again"