10 Things I Learned in Library School: Year 1

 

Today, I turned in my last assignment of the semester, and I can officially state that the term is over. I tend to get self-reflective in moments like this, so I thought I’d make a list of 10 things I’ve learned in my first year of library school. The list includes not only some of the things I learned in my classes, but also some personal life-type tidbits that have popped up along the way. Hope you enjoy, and to anyone else finishing up an academic semester or year right now, congratulations!

10 Things I Learned in Library School: Year 1

  1. The Dewey Decimal Classification and Library of Congress Classification systems in many ways reflect the stereotypical 19th-century WASP male worldview, and therefore have had to undergo revisions over time to erase those biases and include knowledge about marginalized groups.
  2. Most people in library school aren’t fresh out of undergrad, but people don’t look at you TOO funny if they find out you are.
  3. The Massachusetts Historical Society digitized Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia, and they did super cool stuff to make interacting with the papers online almost just like interacting with the physical papers themselves.
  4. Dunkin Donuts was founded in Massachusetts and is EVERYWHERE in Boston.
  5. What makes working in reference so challenging (in a fun way) is that you’re working with people who know they want to know something, but they can’t fully articulate what it is they want to know because they don’t know what it is yet.
  6. There are people working to structure and link data on the Web. It’s not something I have my head around yet, but I plan to get there by adding this to my summer reading list.
  7. Salem, MA is an awesome place to visit for Halloween, and you can get there from Boston by ferry.
  8. Legal resources have their own citation styles, and the US government has its own classification system.
  9. There are postmodernist archival theorists!
  10. This profession is the one I belong in. It upholds a commitment to intellectual freedom, strives to preserve cultural memory, and works diligently to make information accessible to everyone. Those are principles I am excited to participate in maintaining.

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