I’ve been working as a YA librarian assistant for about a year and a half. I originally applied for the position because I needed a part-time job for when I went back to grad school for social work. I’d been working in finance at a downtown bank and wanted to keep working in downtown Lawrence. I loved young adult literature and working with teens. It was a perfect fit. I was enrolled in KU’s Social Welfare program and had an internship all lined up. I was excited, because I’d waited until Mister BS was almost done with his graduate education to go back to grad school.
Then, things changed. For the first time since I was 16 and worked with my best friends as my family’s pizza restaurant, I looked forward to going to work. I loved my job. I made displays and reader’s advisory materials. I assisted patrons and I got to know a lot of the teens. I became a part of the social media team. One day I got a call from Nancy Pearl. I went to YALSA lit symposium and started blogging for The Hub. And I realized that being a librarian would allow me to still help the vulnerable in the community, like social work, but I could also turn my love of literature and life-long learning into a career.
I made a difficult decision to forego grad school for social welfare and start looking into getting my MLIS.
Obviously I am in it for the money, prestige, and power.
It was difficult to choose a program. Knowing the projected salary of a youth services librarian and the competitive job market, I didn’t want to pay out of pocket for an expensive out-of-state program even if I could get a portion of tuition covered with scholarships. Moving wasn’t an option because Mister BS has a teaching contract and is finishing up the functional special ed certification (in addition to adaptive) at KU. Even if moving and tuition wouldn’t have been an issue, I am loathe to give up my completely awesome position at the library here in Lawrence. Plus, it would seem counterproductive, as I think my on-the-job experience is as valuable, if not more, than a formal library education for the type of positions I would be most interested in. I also didn’t want to do an online-only program.
Luckily, I was offered a graduate assistantship which includes a stipend and full tuition in a program that is about an hour’s drive away. It offers a combination of online and traditional classroom instruction, but the classes are only one weekend a month. I’ll get to specialize in librarianship for youth and young adults and get a year of experience in a high school library. They’re even going to count my research and library resources classes from my first round of graduate school towards the program. I’ll still be working part-time at my local public library, but also taking classes and working part-time at a high school about an hour away.
So I’m going to be a “real” librarian with an MLIS.
What does this mean?
I’m going to be super busy during the school year.
I’m going to try and finish the WIP and get it on submission before the school year, because I don’t think that I’ll have time to write once school starts.
I’m going to try to have some blog content scheduled ahead of time, especially for September when I’m doing the Classics Retold project (which I’m already reading for) and the rest of the fall, because I’ve already read and written reviews for a few fall releases and plan to continue to do so over the rest of the summer. But inevitably my posting frequency will slow down. I might even consider the idea of bringing on a co-blogger or contributing book reviews to another blog and leaving this space for less regular bookish posts or more library and library school focused content. (Let me know if your interested in talking about either of those arrangements—whether you’d be interested in posting here or interested in having me contribute occasional reviews to your blog). Either way, I’m going to have less time to read books, and therefore there will be fewer reviews.
But I’m excited!
In other exciting news, I got a new kitten.
When Mister BS and I first started dating he got me a kitten for my birthday. The plan was to get two, one dark tortoise shell named Angel and one white and yellow named Spike. Because we didn’t end up finding a Spike, I’ve always called our first cat Miss Kitty Fantastico, because she was certainly no “angel” and the name didn’t feel right without a Spike for a companion.
I’m happy to say we finally found our Spike. Who is also the cutest kitten ever.
To librarianship and cats!
13 thoughts on “I’m gonna be a real librarian (and probably a crazy cat lady).”
Not gonna lie, I just found your blog through a Pinterest board. I’m so happy I’ve found somebody whose blog divides attention to Library Life and reviews, which is something I’ve been slowly trying to incorporate into my own personal writing. I’m hoping to gain a lot of perspective on what I should be expecting in my soon to be new step on my way to getting my MLIS :)
Hi, just started following you – I adore your blog. :)
I like this story – moving from one career path to another because you discovered something you like to do. Sounds very exciting.
Also: Spike is the cutest. I have a soft spot for orange kitties. I used to have one and he was the best cat ever.
Thanks! I was interested in your blog, too, because I’m a newbie romance reader and am looking for reviews!
Oh, I swear, we’re on cuteness overload at my house with that kitten.
Oh cool! I’m don’t often read straight romance (and if I do, they are usually contemporary), but I like my romantic subplots, so you will probably see me review a lot of books with some romance in them.
I can imagine! :D
It’s awesome sometimes how life takes you in completely different directions from what you had intended. That’s great, however, that things seem to have worked out so well for you. I’m in the process of getting my MLS as well (very much on a part-time basis since I’m unwilling to give up my day job in an unrelated field until I can find a part-time job library job), and it is hard to balance work, class, and blogging, so I understand where you’re coming from. I know that I would enjoy reading some posts on your blog more about librarianship/library, by the way!
Good luck with all your life changes – they may be stressful, but I’m sure they’ll be exciting and you’ll learn a lot too!
Thanks, Amanda! Your so right about those twists and turns in life. Good luck with your MLS program! It can be such a challenge to balance work/school. I’ll definitely be sharing more library content in the future!
Congratulations, Molly! I know you will be fantastic as an all-certified-up librarian, but to be honest, you are already such a badass that I kind of just assumed you already *were* a librarian with an MLIS. Shows how much attention I pay to things. (read: not enough, obviously) An hour commute, you say? LISTEN TO ALL THE AUDIOBOOKZ. Let me know if you need recs:)
Thanks, Flannery! I may have the YA lit/dealing with teens aspect of librarying down, but as far as behind the scenes stuff, I’m a total newbie (metadata what?!) The only upside of my commute is AUDIOBOOKS! I think I’ll be able to knock one out a week, on average, which is the only way I’ll be able to keep up with my reading. I’m stockpiling them now in preparation (do you know about http://www.audiobooksync.com/)? Will hit you up for recs when I run out!
Awww, Spike is cute!
Good luck with the librarian-ness.
Awesome news! And congrats on the new kitten!
Congratulations! That is soooo exciting!
Congratulations! This is so great, you are so great, and I am so happy for you!
Congratulations! That program sounds really fantastic and it’s awesome you get to keep your job in Lawrence too. It’s too bad KU doesn’t have a ALA certified MLIS program. Your new kitten is so adorable too :)