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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Library School's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, October 27th, 2016
6:05 pm
[mmepsychosis722]
Hello Everyone!

I am so happy to have found this community while researching library schools! I'm hoping to enroll next fall, but I've heard that contacting a professor before applying is crucial. Would anyone be able to confirm whether or not this is true? (Especially anyone who went to Syracuse University!)

(Thanks in advance, all!)
Sunday, May 24th, 2015
7:32 pm
[mariellaoc]
Hi everyone,

I'm so happy I found this livejournal page - it seems like an awesome and supportive community. I've been lurking for awhile and I've just signed up specifically to post here about my story and to hopefully get some advice.

I currently have a year and a half left in my undergraduate degree - major in English and extended minor in French. I live in Vancouver, so naturally, I have my heart set on UBC. It was only recently (around Janaury, maybe?) that I realized that I want to go to grad school and get my MLIS. Whenever people asked me what I wanted to do with my undergrad degree, I have always just said that I wanted to work for the government without really knowing what that meant.. but I knew that I love organizing and categorizing information and I love working with technology, so when I realized that MLIS is something that could help me work towards a career doing what I love, I felt like I could finally put a name to a face, so to speak.

Anyway, since then, I've been doing as much as I possibly can to make myself more attractive come application time. Currently, I'm a research assistant for one of my professors and I retrieve and collate information, (print) sources, etc. for her research group, along with digitizing print resources. I also volunteer at my former high school in the library - I've been doing that since February of this year, so up until now, I've done a whole bunch of things from helping develop a research strategy lesson (in PPT form) for grades 8-12 to weeding out books from the collection/system to everyday circulation desk duties (signing books in and out, shelving, etc). I also volunteered in the library a lot and took a "library science course" (which pretty much just meant you were the teacher-librarian's helper for that block) during my high school years, so you can say that I never really left that library haha. This fall, I'm going to be a learning and writing peer educator for the library at my university (basically a tutor helping students write papers and do research).

One of the things I'm most worried about is not getting into UBC. I don't think I can afford moving and living somewhere else (if I could, my second and third choices would probably be UWO and McGill). I recently met with a liaison librarian at my university, who also went to UBC, and he told me that I could always apply again if I don't get in. Ideally I'd like to start grad school right after I finish my undegrad. My CGPA is pretty decent (3.57) but I'm worried about the last 2 years of my undergrad since that's what they're going to be counting, and seeing as I have just a bit over a year left, I'm not sure how I'm going to be doing in my future courses (I guess I just have to step up my game haha).

I guess what I'd like to know is if I have a shot at making it in the first attempt, and if there is anything else I could do between now and application time to improve my chances. Also, should I apply to other schools anyway even if I most likely won't be able to move out, just in case I end up working something out?

In the grand scheme of things, I realize that not getting into UBC on the first attempt wouldn't be the end of the world - I could take a year off and just work or take a break.

If you've read all of this, thank you so much! And thanks in advance to anyone who leaves any comments/advice. :)
Thursday, April 9th, 2015
3:32 pm
[literalogy]
An Inquiry on Cataloging
Hello Everyone,

As I am at the very beginning of my MLIS and Library School career I was under the assumption that I would have some time after a few core courses to discover which pathway I would most like to travel down in regards to a specialization within the field. Recently however, I noticed that courses for certain specializations are only offered every other year and if not taken in the next two semesters, I would miss my chance to take them entirely. This would obviously bear a huge influence on which specialization I choose.

As of right now my interests are greatly diverse and I am having trouble deciding between an Adult Library/Reader's Advisory Reference kind of role or the Technical Services specialization. I've been reading a lot of articles and opinions on the matter recently and was wondering if despite the often distaste many seem to have for cataloging, if it actually was indeed a perfect fit for me. One article even mentioned how there is such a massive amounts of applications for reference positions, yet hardly anyone applying for cataloging positions and there was an actual demand in a way for them. I'm sure this isn't true everywhere, but I found it interesting. There was another article which mentioned how catalogers are also usually the first to be able to inspect and discover the new books, artifacts, etc... that come into the library.

I guess what I'm looking for is perhaps someone who is a cataloger or someone who is familiar with the role can tell me a bit about it and perhaps the traits and skills they believe it requires. I liked someone's take on the common belief that the cataloger sits shackled in chains in the basement of the library and that while it does attract its share of introverts, it is also actually a lot of fun and exciting in its own way. Any kind of info, guidance, etc... would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps maybe even a bit of a dive into the day in the life of would be amazing. Thanks and have a great day!!
Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
3:18 pm
[literalogy]
Indiana University Acceptance!
Hello Everyone,

What a great community! I continually find myself looking back over all of the questions way back from when this group first started. Definitely some great insight!

First off, I am ecstatic to have been accepted to Indiana University! Technically, it's IUPUI and I am doing the program completely online. Has anyone else been accepted recently, or have any experience in this program? I would love to hear thoughts, opinions, experiences, etc...

I apologize if this a novice and common sense question. I was a bit curious about specializations within the MLIS field. I currently find myself drawn to Reference, Technical Services, Academic and Public Libraries, as well as Archives/Preservation, rare books, and Special Libraries. I understand Archives usually requires special training, and that each individual specialization gives unique preparation for that specific sub-field. Perhaps Staxoplax wouldn't mind shining some more light on this area for me? I've had a blast looking over past posts on archives and rare books. I actually grew up nearby Yale a few towns over.

One question is: say there is a job opening for a reference librarian, since the core courses are the same for all students regardless of specialization, would a student who specialized in Public Librarianship be considered to have a leg up on a student who specialized in Technical Services, and vice versa? Also, without a second degree, is an academic position as difficult to acquire as some sources make it seem?

Another question I had was, does anyone have any recommendations on what I should be doing, reading, etc... to prepare for my first summer semester? I have been reading up on job descriptions and studying different roles and responsibilities. Any specific recommendations for journals or the like?

Thank you so much and have a great day!
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
8:27 pm
[vulgarians]
Undergrad Thinking about MLIS
Hello everyone!

I am new to the community, and I am so glad that I stumbled on this site. I wanted to ask you a few questions about how I can better prepare myself for MLIS.

I am currently a 2nd/3rd year student majoring in History/Visual Arts. My cgpa is currently 3.00 and I joined organizations, such as British Columbia Library Association and Special Libraries Association. I also do a lot of volunteer work with the library. It's early to think about it know but I was thinking about applying to UBC, U of T, McGill, and UOW. (I think it'll take me another 3 years to graduate because I'm starting co-op in Fall).

I guess my question is:

1) If my grades were roughly around 3.00 (maybe higher since I still have time to boost it up!) and I joined many organizations related to the field, will it make my application stronger/will the affiliations and organizations make my application look better even if I do bad with grades?

2) Does anyone know anyone who got in with mediocre grades? This I want to hear, it might serve as an inspiration!
Friday, April 4th, 2014
8:50 pm
[moonovermonday]
Anyone know anything about UCLA?
Hi all,

Are there any current/past UCLA mlis students out there that can sled some light about the program? In particular, does anyone know if they focus more on traditional librarianship or if they focus more on the tech side of information? Also can you do a double specialization or at least tailor your classes to include aspects of both? My interest is in archives but I figure the informatics stuff would be more helpful career wise. I'm going to email the department too but I figure I can get a better sight from people who actually went through the program.

I am torn between UCLA and Washington. UCLA is cheaper because I am in-state (go to the cheapest & closest option, right?)but I do not know what I am getting into. One thing I don't like about them is that they make no effort to recruit prospective/admitted students, ie no admitted visiting day, online Q&A, facebook group, or emails about the latest happenings in the department.
Washington will cost more but I know more about the program and I wouldn't mind moving to Seattle. Plus they've maintained consistent unsolicited contact with me throughout the whole process. However, saving 15k is very hard to pass up.
Saturday, March 15th, 2014
11:53 pm
[waypastnoon]
Fall 2014 applicants
Hey, are there any current applicants here? Where have you applied and where are you going?

I've applied to Drexel, Syracuse and UW and was accepted everywhere. It's a hard decision! I really like UW's program, but it's 3 years, and I am 36 already, and I really can only spend 1 year, 1.5 max at home with kids. Drexel is within commuting distance, and they gave me fellowship, so they are now the cheapest option - but it's still a ton of money. And the program is short, you can graduate in 1.25 years which is nice but I cannot really understand how people feel about this program, isn't it too short and easy? And I am still waiting to hear from Syracuse regarding any financial aid, this can change everything.

Any thoughts? and tell where you are going!
Friday, January 10th, 2014
1:38 pm
[dannipintauro]
How to best approach the application process for a thirty-something?
Hi, everyone:

Long-time lurker here. I got my BA in English over 10 years ago from a LCA notorious for being very challenging academically and zero grade inflation. While my GPA is above 3.0 for my upper-division courses (3.2), my overall is under 3.0, due to a combination of, frankly, socializing too much my freshman year and getting mono my sophomore year. I have since taken a couple of classes at a large university and gotten As in both. I recently took the GRE and scored in the 93%ile for verbal and 65%ile in quant, with analytical score of 6. I have been volunteering at the public library for about 6 months and plan to continue doing so.

I considered auditing a course in the MSIS program at UT Austin this semester, just to get a feel for it, but my job will be extremely stressful for the next 2-3 months due to an increased workload. Plus, I am moving next month and will be doing all the first-time mortgage stuff. Now I'm wondering if it's worth the extra stress if I won't be allowed to do assignments/participate.

I plan to apply this fall to UT Austin and Univ of WA's online program for sure. I need to do more in-depth research on other online programs, but I'd like to apply to at least 5 programs just to cover my bases. Since I'm obviously not getting any younger and I've been putting off entering a grad program until my husband's grad loans are close to being paid off, I really want to put together a solid application package.

I feel confident I can write an effective SOP and wrangle some excellent reference letters, but I am very concerned about my lackluster undergrad performance.

So. Here are my questions:

1. Would the fact that I'm older mitigate my not-so-hot GPA? A friend who's a grad coordinator in a tech program at a large university (not library/info sciences) implied that this might work in my favor.
2. Is it worth it to audit a class in terms of trying to beef up my application?
3. Should I take another upper division English class at UT before applying?

I really appreciate any and all suggestions/comments/insight. I am really eager to dive into the application process and hopefully move into the next phase of my education.
Sunday, December 8th, 2013
8:08 am
[more_apples_now]
What to put on the application resume?
So far I have my education background (should I include my gpa since it's already on the transcript?)and my relevant volunteer experience (volunteering in a library and at a museum archives). I'm thinking about adding my non-relevant work history (assistant manager at a restaurant) since it's been two years since I graduated. That would give me about one page.

I left out that I did a bunch of community service through various clubs while in college and was also in the student government but is that something I should include? I pretty much left out everything I did while in college because it just feels like I'm padding.

And is the objective statement even necessary? It seems a bit redundant to me because that should be covered by the statement of purpose. Besides, I've always been told to leave it out on regular job resumes. I have no publications or research experience.

Any advice or tips on what to put in the application resume would be appreciated.
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
8:15 pm
[topolinaxx]
Interview Thursday, very nervous!
After receiving a bachelor's degree in English and Anthropology in 2010, and an unfortunate illness/hospitalization not long after, I have had to put off graduate school so far because of a lack of funding.

However, I worked at a campus library for three years undergraduate and did a cataloging internship as well. There is a rare opening in my town for a library associate, that just requires a bachelor's and library experience, and I want it SO badly.

The interview is two hours long- they sent me a schedule. I am to meet with the director, then the children's/ya dept (where it would be located), and then a meeting with the board of trustees before a follow up with the director.

I have never had this type of interview before, and I am frazzled trying to think of enough questions for all the parties involved. I can think of general type questions for the director, but since the position involves working and coordinating with the YA dept AND the director I am unsure of how to spread out the questions between the two.

I am MOST puzzled about questions for the board, however. This is a newly created position, so I thought about asking some questions about funding (how the library obtains funding, how secure funding is for position) but was unsure of what kinds of questions are really appropriate for them/ good things to ask.


Any advice is very welcome!
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
3:37 pm
[myk_600]
Wayne State?
No one seems to be talking about this school recently. Anyone go there? Instate tuition for online students is an attractive offer. Anything good or bad to say about the program?
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
4:27 pm
[waypastnoon]
Work load?
Hi everyone,

Thanks for this very useful community! I've learned so much here.

I am in the process of applying to MLIS programs, planning to start in Fall 2014. I am also trying to figure out what the next year will be like for me in terms of work/free time etc. I have two little kids (one will start kindergarten next year) and childcare costs are very high where I live, so it's really hard to find a balance between childcare/part-time job/study/volunteering/internships etc. But I have to make choices regarding nursery school and enrichment programs now (i.e full day or not, how many days etc.) and it all really depends on how much free time I will need to study.

So, what's the average work load for part-time study (say, 2 courses per term - or quarter)? If it matters, I'm applying to University of Washington, UIUC, Syracuse (online only) and Drexel (I am in central NJ so taking some courses on campus seems feasible). How much time do you usually spend studying per week? I guess it depends on the course and the time of the term and also varies between students, but I'm looking for a very general idea right now. I got my bachelor's degree in a different country so I have absolutely no idea how studying here works.

Thanks a lot!
Monday, September 9th, 2013
4:22 pm
[je_reviens]
Hack Library School
I saw a post about this and checked it out. It's pretty cool if you are in library school or considering going!

Hack Library School free e-book
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
5:09 pm
[ext_2122343]
UT Austin iSchool internships & employment assistance
I was wondering if anyone has any experience, either direct or anecdotal, with how much UT assists iSchool grad students with finding internships or jobs. I already live in Austin without the possibility of moving for a while, so it's basically UT or distance learning, and what mainly concerns me about UT is the utter dearth of information about this (mainly internships). SJSU, for example, has quite a bit of info and you can even search their database, and I particularly like the option to complete virtual internships since I'll still be working. If UT had a good system, wouldn't they want to talk about it? My other UT graduate friends (not from the iSchool) mainly agree that the liberal arts employment assistance program is awful, but the business school has one of the best in the country. With all I've read about practical experience being critical for postgraduate employability, this is unsettling.

I should mention, though, that it's been a few years since I finished my BA and I already have some professional experience. Right now I work at Apple in basically an information architecture capacity, although that's not necessarily what I want to do permanently (but it might be!), and I volunteer at the local public library. Assuming I can maintain both these things, how far back would that set me, experience-wise, if I'm unable to augment it during school? Ideally I would like to work in a public library.

Sorry this is long-winded, but I very much appreciate any advice.
Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
7:52 am
[broomshakalaka]
UIUC LEEP
Hello all, found this community on a web search while I was trying to find out how difficult it is to get into UIUC's LEEP program. This is pretty much the only GSLIS option for me as my tuition will be completely waived due to my job with a different State University (AWESOME).

I'm a 2008 Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work grad - overall GPA was 3.47, major was 3.13... I don't have any library experience but am looking into volunteering at the public library here as soon as I can get moved closer. Unfortunately, I didn't keep in contact with any professors but I have professional references.

I would like to get into either academic or public librarianship - the former to engage my research and education-loving side, the latter to get to be around people! I'm shooting for Spring 2014, so I know it's fairly early to apply, but I was just hoping for a little help and insight.

Anyways, this community is pretty great, I've already learned a lot about applying and being a student, but I was just wondering if any of you vets had any additional insight. Thanks!
Friday, June 28th, 2013
5:12 pm
[thenardsblue]
Madison v. Milwaukee
Hello all,

I've heard great things about Madison, both the program and the city, on this community and other sources. However, I'm leaning towards Milwaukee as they offer a dual degree option with the History department, as well as provide more information on potential funding and practical experience.

(Just in case you were curious, I'm interested in "sites of conscience" and other lieux de mémoire in the Southern Cone.)

I'd love to get your two cents on either program, faculty support, or even the cities/communities themselves, either through here or via PM.

Thanks in advance!
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
9:53 pm
[myk_600]
Canadian GPA Scale?
I'm applying to UBC, which uses a 4.33 GPA scale, with an undergrad degree on a 4.0 scale. Should I convert this before I apply? How would I do that?
3:49 pm
[myk_600]
How early is too early to send applications?
Everyone says to get your apps in early but no one says how early. I don't finish my undergrad until May 2014 and I want to start library school in Fall 2014, so when should I apply for a February 1st deadline? My GRE is next week so if the scores are good I could send the app in July. Too early you think?
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
10:02 pm
[asoundplan]
Experience and Letters of Recommendations
I am curious as what kind of experience everyone here had prior to applying to grad school and who wrote your letters of recommendations.

I guess have a bit of a ulterior motive with this post. I already volunteer in collections with two different museums in LA and those will probably be my sources of two letters. My third potential reference was going to be my professor but he is off doing field work in the middle east for the next year and I did not have enough foresight to ask for a letter before hand. Since I graduated a year and a half ago, it's a little late to try to get to know other professors now. Because I pretty much have my heart set on UCLA or Washington, which both need three letters, I am trying to get some creative ideas for where I can get that third letter of recommendation.
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