Notes from the Field #2
posted December 19, 2013 10:15 AM by Maya Bery
Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship from the Simmons MSLA-SIG (the student interest group of the Massachusetts School Library Association) to attend the American Association of School Librarians conference in Minneapolis. About a month ago, I attended the most recent session, held in Hartford, and I'm amazed at what a difference being in the field makes.
As a pre-professional, you're expected to attend conferences to get a taste of what life will be like when you're in the field, and you can learn lots of things, but it is nothing quite like knowing you can go home and implement all these amazing ideas in your own space. I'm tremendously grateful for the opportunity, and if anyone is thinking about going to Columbus in two years time, do it! It's incredible.
As a related note, there was a strong GSLIS presence at the poster sessions and in the concurrent sessions - Dr. Zilonis and instructor Chris Swerling gave presentations on how to write grants, instructor and Ph.D candidate Deborah Lang Froggatt of BAA/FHS, graduates/students of the SLT and ITL programs Margaret Schoen, Erin Broderick, Jennifer Reed, and Jessica Lodge all presented, and even Judi Paradis, the head of the MSLA was present. It's really wonderful to see these people who you've heard of, worked with, learned from and gone to class with doing so well and taking on leadership roles on the national stage.
Just before Thanksgiving, I also had the opportunity to share my job search experience with current SLT students, along with Alida Hanson (Weston High) and Emily Houston (Cambridge Rindge and Latin). We shared stories of our different experiences (I got the first and only job I applied for, Emily had to choose between two wonderful offers, and Alida had begun to lose hope), but what really stood out to me is this: how happy we all are. As Emily so eloquently put it, "I worked my tail off, and now I have my dream job. This is the dream." It is so rare to find people who genuinely love what they are doing - to have three of us, in three different districts and schools positively brimming with joy, gratitude and disbelief that we get paid to do these incredible jobs of ours is something else. I still can't quite believe it. This profession is rewarding, challenging, and transforming, and I am honored to be counted amongst its members.