Let’s Take This Outside (the Classroom)
posted November 26, 2012 4:32 PM by Sarah Barton
Two of my three courses this semester have required that I interview a library professional. Those interviews, plus my internship (more on that next week) have provided me with practical knowledge that simply cannot come from a classroom setting. The two classes for which I had to do interviews are “Principles of Management” and “Knowledge Management,” both of which are very theoretical and situation-specific. Talking to people in the field has been a great supplement of my overall understanding of the concepts that have been discussed in class.
A write-up is required after both interviews, but frankly, I have found myself less concerned about the grades that I get on the papers than how I might be able to apply what I have learned in a professional setting. Talking to real life library professionals has been an interesting, thought provoking, and relevant addition to the time spent in class. I’m not suggesting that you invent a non-existent class or assignment in order to have an excuse to talk to someone who works in a library. Instead, just ask! The people I interviewed have busy schedules, but were very accommodating in terms of taking an hour to meet with me.
If you are thinking about pursuing a library degree at GSLIS, the best way to get an idea of what librarians do is to talk to them. Taking classes will get you a degree, but the practical application of things that you learn in class will augment your degree and make you a more desirable candidate for your library dream job. Plus, every person that you talk to is a potential connection if you ever need anything down the road. In two semesters at GSLIS, I have found that what I do outside of the classroom is just as, if not more, valuable than what I am learning in class.