One Thing Every LIS Student Needs To Know (Reader Participation Thread)

I have an idea for another LIS-related list but thought it might be better to (try to) take advantage of the number of students and alumni out there who read this blog to help me generate the list (while it's still mostly a library school blog and before it becomes “Diaper Tale: Yet Another Expectant Father's Blog”.)

What I'm asking is for you to please post a comment suggesting “one thing that a library school student needs to know”.  Try not to repeat anyone else, serious and not-so-serious are fine. 

Thanks for your help!  (PS – this is a good chance for all of you lurkers to have your first post.  Feel free to post anonymously if you don't want to give up your name.  If you do that, I can't tell you who are – honest!)

Comments 22

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    If I had to pick one thing, I'd say how to give a presentation – both alone and with a group – is pretty important.

    Posted 09 Dec 2006 at 6:21 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    How to do a literature search. Actually, how to search – period.
    In broader terms, every student should know what resources UWO has and how to access them and use them. It's all about being able to hear a question, ask yourself “where would I find that?” and have an answer pop into your head fairly quickly. A lot of this is covered in 503, but you'll use those skills in just about every class (especially 504 and any time you have to find research for an assignment). It's a skill that can be taught/learned and which is also partly intuitive. Sometimes you have to be creative. Anyway, searching. Searching is the one thing we all have to know how to do.

    Posted 09 Dec 2006 at 6:30 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Drink — heavily and often. 😉 Oh, and don't forget to buy your friends drinks once in a while too. (Sorry, that's two.)

    Posted 09 Dec 2006 at 7:09 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I have to say drinking at the grad club. I loved hanging out there, doing work, drinking beer, chatting and making friends. It's a great way to get stuff done, watch world cup soccer, and socialize all at once.
    I would also say to take a course with J. Noon. She is, by far, the most outstanding prof in the department for pure library science. And I know she's hard. She was my 5 oh whatever Reference teacher, and I hated that course so much, and I thought it was so useless…until I became a librarian and realized almost everything I knew about searching, research, databases, sources, resources from Science to Humanities, was all thanks to her. I went on to do Instructional Strategies with her, and it was stunningly helpful for presenting, talking, thinking and teaching.
    And though she will laugh at your idea for a reference puppet show, it is best to not put it into practice. Unless you have children resources.
    My… I could go on forever………i shoulda bin a mentor……
    D. Jackson

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 3:16 am
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    D. Jackson! Long time, no hear! This is your partner in crime from Noon's 503 class. I agree with your sentiments re:Noon, but I would also add that personalizing your presentations no matter the class helps too. I did a Genealogy presentation for 582 Gov Info incorporating my family's history into my segment which was very well received by the class. Injecting yourself into a presentation helps your audience relate to your topic.
    On a personal note, be careful not to promise everyone you'll stay in touch after graduation. Very few people do. Many people I know won't return e-mails or answer letters so the best thing is to pick the most reliable people to correspond with and keep your expectations low in regards to regular correspondence.

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 7:02 pm
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Do something outside of Library School *not connected to libraries*! Once you stop doing your readings you really do have enough time to escape. It's worth it for your sanity.

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 8:00 pm
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Sign up for a locker – even if you think you won't use it regularly – and keep “emergency” supplies in there.
    * you'll save a lot on Tim Horton's/Grad Club/vending machines if you get some nuts/twigs/berries, dried fruit, pretzels, candy from the Bulk Barn and keep it in your locker. Extra packets of soup or tea come in handy, too.
    * Tylenol/Advil/Drugs. I can't tell you the number of times class gave me a headache (!) and I was so glad to have something to take.
    * spare change for the photocopier. You inevitably run out of money on your copy card at the worst possible moment and Murphy's Law indicates that you won't have change in your wallet – so keep a jar in your locker.
    * an extra sweater because NCB is often cold, especially in the summer when they have the AC cranked up.

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 8:10 pm
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I'd just been thinking of doing a list like this as a full post since I went to clean out my own locker on Friday. But since you've got a good start, I'll put my own inventory here (oh, and I agree – get a locker! I only lived 10 minutes from school so I opened it about once a month at most. But it was handy to have a place to store your stuff and keep emergency supplies.)
    Jason's Locker Contents
    – a long-sleeved shirt (yep, it can get cold – both inside and out. I took this shirt the day after we got a sudden snow storm in May (?) and a bunch of people were caught wearing only t-shirts.)
    – a black short-sleeved shirt (I always had a paranoia that I would spill ketchup or someting on myself twenty minutes before I had a presentation to do.)
    – granola bars, other snacks
    – a small water bottle for the days when I might forget my usual 1L one
    – I didn't keep Tylenol, etc. in my locker – I had them right in my backpack!
    – about $5-10 in loonies and toonies for photocopier and/or emergency vending machine purchases
    – in the “too much information” category, I kept a deodorant stick for those especially long, stressful days. (“Never let 'em see you sweat” indeed!)
    – a couple extra pens and some extra paper
    I cleaned out Quinn's locker for him at the end of last term but can't remember if he had anything much different from what we've already said. I thought his supply of microwave KD was a good idea when smaller snacks wouldn't cut it and you were too broke to pay the exorbitant rates at the Grad Club or Timmy's.

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 8:25 pm
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    I debated whether to include “feminine hygiene products” on the list because, let's face it, for girls it's intuitive and assumed. But since you started the “too much information…” 🙂
    When I started carrying a knapsack, I gave up my purse, and sort of thought of the locker as a purse. Of course, there are things that were always in the knapsack, like headache remedies, a calculator, cough drops, hand lotion and a hairbrush – all of which could be added to the list of “emergency supplies” to always have on hand.
    And don't forget an umbrella! It might not help in a freak snow storm but when you go to school and it's sunny and you haven't listened to the weather report, it can be a lifesaver.
    Microwaveable KD is a great idea – wish I'd thought of it. I only recently got on the Campbell's Soup hand-held microwavable cups, and they're worth keeping in your locker, too.
    (Sorry for jumping the gun on this – it *would* make a good post!)

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 8:50 pm
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    One thing every LIS student should know and understand is that it's only (approx.) 1 year of your life, so don't get stressed out over a little assignment worth 2%!!!! Seriously, relax a little, it'll all be over soon.

    Posted 10 Dec 2006 at 10:10 pm
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Getting a job in this field is hard. Sad, but oh so true.

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 12:08 am
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Corey! Ian from Winnipeg here, remember 566 with Lynne McKechnie? Anyway, to add to what you said, it took 8 months to get one interview! So far I've had three, but no job! I fill my days with volunteering until I get a J-O-B. What everyone should know is that pursuing a PhD (NOT in LIS) is a worthy substitute to not getting a job. You get a tuition waiver and a salary for working as a TA. That way, you are more marketable as an Academic librarian.

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 12:26 am
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Reading is believing. In the profession. Is it a worthy profession?!?!?
    It was through reading and getting familiar with LIS thinkers (yes, don't scoff, & LIS researchers) that I began to feel part of this field. Not just the assigned readings of course– but the blogs (Jason has a sidebar with some favs), the listservs, the life-changing books (like Jason pictured with his Revolting Librarians Redux) I go back to McKechnie/Ross/Rothbauer's Reading Matters once in a while, and even reading outside the LIS circle — I'm reading a great book called WHAT IF ALL THE KIDS ARE WHITE? Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families by Derman-Sparks & Ramsey that I think all children/YA librarians should read.
    And read the work of your fellow students — like Jason I've asked a few colleagues for their essays. I wish more of that circulating of papers had happened. I wish I'd ask more often. D. Jackson your Cantilever is still needed out there.
    Meantime, it's up to the curious minds who want to know. And read.
    It was the reading that made me familiar with the LIS landscape. But it was the people that made me feel I belong here.
    Since I was just rambling on to Jason about the Weakerthans song “Everything Must Go!” I'll end with an Alden Nowlan quote that prefaces the Weakerthan's Left & Leaving liner notes:
    “for those who belong nowhere
    and for those who belong to one place
    too much to belong anywhere else”
    — Alden Nowlan
    So, sure Ian tack on the PhD and Quinn the philosophy, but you're branded babies,you belong to us. Too much.
    I'll miss you Jason Hammond. Cheers, Linda B.

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 2:16 pm
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    If you forget your lock combination, the office has bolt cutter.
    Please note: make sure you're cutting the right lock; always double-check to be safe.
    This lesson is based on a hypothetical situation, of course :).

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 3:05 pm
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    I don't know about that; though I would say finding a job in the field that you WANT and WHERE you want it, is difficult.

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 3:46 pm
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Good one! Lit searching is definitely a skill that you'll use throughout the program.

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 11:55 pm
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    One of the things I've said repeatedly on this blog is you learn more at the Grad Club than in class sometimes. That's a bit tongue-in-cheek but the underlying statement about the importance of socializing and relaxing stands. (And if drinking heavily is part of that, so be it!)
    I noticed my drinking decreased as the year went on – anybody else find that?

    Posted 11 Dec 2006 at 11:57 pm
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Ah, but you *were* a mentor, even if it wasn't “official”. Sabina was good for all the esoteric library info but you were good for the in-the-trenches stuff!
    That leads to another suggestion from me – find “your people.” You get paired with a peer mentor but that's random and doesn't always work out for people (it'd be interesting to see the satisfaction rates for that program actually.) But if you do a bit of work and keep your ear to the ground, especially in your first term, you'll find “your” people – both in your cohort and in upper terms who share your world view and so on. Having people in your cohort who are similar to yourself is important for comparing notes and venting. Having people in upper terms who are similar to you is important for…well, comparing notes and venting. (And gaining their accumulated wisdom. A lot of whatever success I had in the program was due to hanging out with Mr. D. Jackson and various others who were only too happy to take this little bird under their wings.)

    Posted 12 Dec 2006 at 12:01 am
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    Sort of a related one – get away from the campus/Richmond rut. Check out different local attractions, restaurants and bars outside of “the usual.”

    Posted 12 Dec 2006 at 12:02 am
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    That is a great point, beautifully put. A few of us were talking about this the other night and how, quite contrary to the meek and mind stereotype, the program tends to attract people who are fairly high strung and detail-oriented (anal retentive) as well as having a heavy dose of control freak in them. (I am no exemption to these characteristics by the way though I tried to be fairly laid back – especially around marks.) The urban-legend stories about FIMS having the highest rate of visits to the campus doctor AND psychologist need to be investigated further!

    Posted 12 Dec 2006 at 12:06 am
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Some might object but I think it's a good idea to start the reading before you come to library school. You don't have to find out your textbooks and have them half done for the first day but more along the lines of finding a book in a library-related subject that interests you and take a peek – like I did with Revolting Librarians Redux and meant to do with Gorman's “Our Singular Strengths” but never got to.
    Most academic and public libraries, even in cities without library schools, will likely have a few library books in the stacks – Z for LC, somewhere around 020 for Dewey.
    And reading library blogs is a great way to get up to speed on current news and happenings. I'll do a post on my favourite library blogs someday but http://www.librarian.net and http://www.lisnews.org are good places to start.

    Posted 12 Dec 2006 at 12:13 am
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    Hilarious! Thanks Colin.

    Posted 12 Dec 2006 at 12:15 am

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