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!