Library School Bondage

Don't you love misleading titles for blog posts?  “Bonding With Your Classmates in Library School” would've probably been more accurate (but what fun would that be?)

I wanted to record some of the things that our cohort has done (and things I've heard of other cohorts doing) that helped us bond and become a fairly tightknit group in case someone from a future cohort stumbles on this page.  Although there are a lot of factors in how a cohort bonds (or doesn't bond) as the case may be, I firmly believe that a lot of the things I list below are a big part of why this happened, at least for our cohort.  

Bonding Activities For Classes at Library School
– set up a free Yahoo group [2007-03-09 – edit: or Facebook] for communication within your cohort.  This will give a (private) platform for discussion of assignments and professors, social events and parties and more.

– have a social event as early in the term as possible, preferably by the end of the first or second week.  This is for a couple reasons – you're presumably not (too) busy yet plus it gives everybody a chance to get to know each other in a less formal, non-classroom setting right away.  I recommend the Grad Club because you're going to be spending a lot of time there during your studies anyhow!

– organize a class photo sometime during your first term.  Because of co-op, electives, and people taking less than full loads, the five required courses of the first term are the only time where you're going to see the same people day in and day out during your program.  Because of this, this group will mean more to you than the people you eventually have your grad photo with and a class photo is a good way to commemorate the people who went through what somone called “library school boot camp” with you. 

– you can take orders for copies of the class photo (or if you have a keener who's blowing his student line of credit, let him buy copies for everybody – they're not that expensive.)  Or make them available digitally for anybody who wants to order their own prints.  

– have a few parties.  Various classmates have done so throughout the last six months and we've had a party about every 3-4 weeks or so on average (and that's only counting the ones that people invite me to!)

– do things besides partying.  If there are local events like festivals or whatever, put out open invitations on the listserv for anybody who wants to come (and they don't have to be local either – one classmate put out an open invitation to visit Mexico Town in Detroit a couple weeks back with a group.  She's involved in the agricultural sector so was going with a group of Mexican immigrant workers – how fun would that have been?)  Group suppers (at restaurants or pot luck) are good as are things like group movie nights, group TV nights (seriously, do not underestimate the nerd/geek quotient of librarians.  One classmate is organizing a TV night for the season premiere of Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis – and getting a good response! )

– we didn't get around to this but earlier in the first term, there was talk about a class camping trip and/or class field trips to local attractions.

[2007-03-09 – edit: – get class tattoos (some suggestions: your cutter number, a relevant Dewey number ie. 020.7 is the Dewey number for “Library & Information Science — Education), a picture of a shushing finger raised to lips or an open book, something cryptic (ie. “Dui”) or whatever else you can dream up.]

– a classmate is currently organizing an order of class t-shirts and is willing to consider suggestions from classmates for the slogan

Here's my suggestion, stolen completely from David Jackson:

Library School: A Classification Scheme

Semester One – Anxiety & Fear
Semester Two – Anger & Hopelessness
Semester Three – Apathy & Depression

(That could be shortened to the three “A” words as well if space is a problem.  Actually, that might be better – Anxiety, Anger, Apathy.) 

[2010-06-02 – bumped into a recent grad at CLA 2010 who told me they'd added a fourth semester's “A” for those who didn't do the accelerated Master's – alcoholism.]

For anyone who's read this far, a very special Link of the Day Cute Overload which is also guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside just like I'm sure this post has. 

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