Unlike many library students my degree is actually planned out to be two or three years since I am an online student. So I luckily (or unlikely?) get more time in library school than the average girl. Now I went into the program wanting to finish in two years, but after the first quarter I decided maybe slow and steady would win the day. I have also decided that if I’m going to go over two years I might as well make it count and complete a final masters project during my third year. That way I can get some project planning and implementation under my belt before heading out on the big-girl job market.
Now for my second year of library school I have decided to set some goals. My first year’s goal was just to get use to a fully online program mode and make it work for me. This year I have some more specific things in mind.
- Volunteer at ALA Midwinter – This year it is taking place in Seattle so I’m assuming UW’s iSchool will be hijacked during the conference. Who wouldn’t sneak off to an ALA conference when it is just a bus ride across town? Once school starts I should start asking around about how I can get involved.
- Complete a DFW – This is a Directed Field Work or to some a practicum or an unpaid internship for credit. Now I know many students dislike unpaid internships for credit since the student ends up in the red, but our DFW system at UW allows me to get in on the ground floor with some local organizations that usually don’t offer intern positions otherwise. This is great for me since I am tied geographically to this area after grad school (I can’t complain my husband has a great job!). I’m hoping for a position that allows me to interact with archive patrons, donors, or at least fellow colleagues. I’ve had too many jobs where I just sit alone in a room and do my own thing.
- Present at a conference (either a paper or poster) – Right now I’m thinking a smaller conference like the Washington Library Association or Northwest Archivists, but who knows maybe something interesting will cross my path and I’ll take a leap and submit something to SAA or ALA. I really have no ideas right now, but I’m not sweating it (yet).
- Keep expanding my knowledge of archives, digital services, digital humanities, metadata, & cataloging – So besides taking classes geared toward this, I’m planning on learning more about the Digital Humanities via this awesome LibGuide from Boston College. I’ve also recently discovered iTunesU which is free and has free lectures series about tons of different topics. I have several downloaded (some from the Library of Congress) that I’m trying to fit in. Also I’m going to learn the basics of HTML/XML from this book recommended by my programmer husband so I can take the more intensive version of the HTML class offered in my program come the spring quarter.
- Continue to write blog posts – It is so easy for me to just let everything else fall by the wayside while taking classes. One of those things that gets neglected is this blog. I will probably try a few tricks to keep this active like connecting posts to my class work or writing responses to other library/archive blog posts.
- Get a summer internship – I have one internship in mind that I would like to have in the summer of 2013, but by March or April that could all change. However, I need to remember to apply, apply, apply and keep my eyes on the student jobs listserv, inalj, and archivesgig.
- Attend more conferences – Okay well this goal is kind of already wrapped up, but I think it stills needs to be here. Last year I only attended one professional conference. This year I plan on attending InfoCamp Seattle (even though it intimidates me), Museum Computer Network (it’s in Seattle and there are GLAMWiki sessions), ALA Midwinter, and then it is a toss up between Northwest Archivists and WLA/OLA. I really wish I could go to SXSW, but the conference costs plus travel costs just puts it out of reach.
I’m not quite sure if these goals are all doable without overextending myself, but we’ll see. I’m pretty sure I can complete all of this by May 2013. There may be some rough times here or there, but it’ll be a fun ride! My third year will be the kicker with my final project, fitting in the last of my electives, and looking for a job. However, I’m very glad that I have opted for the three year plan. If I was graduating this year, I’d feel a bit cheated. I’ve just figured this whole grad school thing out and now I have to leave and go figure out the professional world?!
Good Luck everyone who starts back to library school in August! (I don’t go back to September 24th! So I’m off to enjoy my last few weeks of summer.)