CPD23 Hiatus: MLS journey

Well, I am back on the MLS Bandwagon, while admitting that I have abandoned CPD23 Thing Challenge. I am prideful to the notion that I finish most things that I have started.  The thorn in my side lately has been that I haven’t finished my MLS degree. While on CPD23 Hiatus, I have been working hard to position myself to finish my MLS program.  Now readers before your eye pop out your sockets- let me share with you, my MLS school journey.

Remember that feeling of not knowing what you wanted to be growing up? Well for me—I always knew I wanted to help others, but never knew to what capacity. During my last semester in undergrad, while writing a research paper and completing an independent study bibliographic guide, I discovered a love for finding information. It took me a couple of years in the social services field to realize that my time could be better spent educating clients about nutrition, wellness, healthy lifestyle management through finding resources. My intellectual curiosity for searching for information led me to an information session on library schools. It was during that time that I ‘bought’ into the idea of becoming an ‘Information Ninja’. [Wait, don’t cue the symphonic harmonies yet]. I had no idea that that the next two years of my life would play out as one faculty member suggested. In my first MLS lecture, the professor said something that now reasonates with me, ‘In the undergraduate years, YOU get in the way. During graduate school, LIFE GETS IN THE WAY.’ Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Half way through my program, I encountered some health challenges that prevented me from achieving my MLS within a two year period. Despite this minor setback, I am ready again to resume the challenge of tackling the MLS program.

Even though I do not have the credentials, I won’t let that discourage my focus. So my advice for people who may feel unmotivated, hopeless, or defeated; please know that you are not alone. NEVER give up on your dreams. I leave you with a couple of references regarding professional development.

Reflections on Mentoring–  By Tixylix

Professional Advice– By Academic Librarian

Charting My Professional Journey  By Joeyanne Libraryanne

3 Benefits for Joining ALA as a Student Member

Every year the American Library Association (ALA) sends out its annual call for volunteers for committee work. Last week, I was happily reminded why I love being a part ALA. I want to share my journey on how beneficial it is to be active in the professional organization. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Library Science through the University of North Texas’ online program.  The benefits of my online LIS program is that it has given me the opportunity to become mobile and take advantage of library fellowships, internships, and leadership programs.

3 Benefits for Joining ALA as a Student Member:

CHALLENGE

I joined because I wanted to get involved and learn about the library profession in a holistic way. ALA is an organization that seeks to speak about the various aspects of the library profession, from technical services, public services, career development, information literacy, research/statistical assessments, diversity initiatives, etc. My participation as a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader (Group D), was invaluable because I had the opportunity to learn about the Assn. for Library Collection and Technical Services (ALCTS), a committee within ALA. It was through my EL project participation, I was offered a volunteer position as a webinar technical assistant with the ALCTS CE Technical Subcommittee.

NETWORKING

By joining ALA as a student, I have met wonderful people along the way who have encouraged me to take on projects and have served as wonderful role models. I wanted to meet people in the library world and build professional relationships in the field. Through my experience as an ALA Student Member, I feel like my expectations have been met by my affiliation. I have taken advantage of ALA-sponsored webinars related to career development, job searching strategies, and internship opportunities.

EXPERIENCE

I have taken a unique path by not having professional library experience before entering my library program. I do not regret not having library experience prior to attending library school. I am not discouraged about the literature reviews or reports about library hiring trends. My curiosity, motivation, and active participation in ALA will give me the experience I need in the future. My participation as a student member in ALA has allowed me to develop skills in technical services and has kept me aware of current trends in the library world. So my advice to students….don’t wait until you have your degree to get experience start now! Become Active Now!