Blogging After School

July 10, 2008

Some people have asked (or commented) about my plans for this blog after finishing school. I will readily admit that my blogging frequency took a dramatic downward turn during the summer of 2007. Initially, I felt the need to cut back on blogging because I was incredibly unhappy in school. I had nothing positive to say and I was in danger of allowing the bad experiences to overshadow my entire school experience. Somewhere deep down, I had lost my ability to give a fair assessment of the reality of graduate school – I and sensed that if I continued to allow myself to give in to bad attitude, it would overshadow my remaining time at SCSU. Overall, I think this was the right move for me to make at the time. Blogging continued to be a lower priority for me, even when my school experiences started to become more positive. Despite this lag, I’m not necessarily ready to give up on it.

To this day, I am still surprised by how much I have come to enjoy blogging. I do not believe that I can’t continue to blog in this venue now that I am done with school – even though library school was the original impetus for this blog. I’ve lost the desire to justify blogging as an activity – to justify a reason for blogging or for not blogging. I think that I will continue to blog about library topics that interest me, when they interest me. I’m pretty sure that I will continue to be interested in many library-related topics for some time. Beyond that, I do have a definite to start writing some wrap up posts about my educational experience in the near future. Overall, I’m playing it by ear. It will be what it will be . . .

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A Degree Awarded

June 12, 2008

Degree Awarded
Originally uploaded by ScruffyNerf.
 

 

I’ve been eagerly logging into SCSU’s administrative portal to check my transcript since grades were released in early June. Today, was the first time I noticed that there was information in the Degrees Awarded section. A Master of Library Science degree was awarded on May 23, 2008. This makes me feel like I have accomplished something! I know that the actual degree itself won’t show up before September. But, I was wondering how I would know that everything was processed correctly on the school’s end. Now, I know. 🙂


The Value of the MLS/MLIS

May 28, 2008

The LibrarianInBlack posted a link to a survey about the value of the MLS/MLIS. It is indeed very brief – and intended to determine if people feel as if their degree was worth the time, effort and cost. I did take the survey, despite the fact that I’m not entirely sure what I think overall about the value of the MLS degree. I do not regret going to get my MLS. I do see the value in it (or duh, I wouldn’t have gone to get it), but I don’t think it is a rite that magically makes one a librarian. Would I do it again? I can’t answer that question. I’m still way too close – and the thought of going to school is incredibly abhorrent (as it was after I graduated from college). Additionally, I need to have some time away to assess the impact of spending over $18,000 out of pocket (tuition, books and miscellaneous costs) over two and a half years on our household finances. I will say that my husband hasn’t entirely appreciated the cost.

One of the questions on the survey asked if you would recommend pursuing an MLS/MLIS. While I checked the recommend box, I don’t think that this answer adequately represents what I might or might not do. I’m pretty sure that there would be occasions when I would recommend this course of action and occasions when I wouldn’t. During the past several years when I have discussed the fact that I was pursuing my MLS (and going through the tedious process of explaining what this means in terms of my career), everyone always asks about how it would impact my current job (with a promotion or a raise). I found it a bit disconcerting to have to answer that I already have a professional librarian job and that the degree won’t really make a difference.

For me, getting the degree has been more about finally adding the educational experience to back up my work experience for future job opportunities than about changing my current job situation. I absolutely love my job (although definitely have a love/hate relationship with it on certain occasions). Systems librarianship is my calling, and I believe that having an MLS makes me a stronger systems librarian from the perspective of potential employers. I am too young not to have returned to school knowing that this is what I intend to do with the rest of my life. So, I would recommend getting an MLS if someone felt the same way that I did. However, I don’t believe that an MLS makes someone an librarian. I think that ultimately I would tell people that they themselves need to decide if pursuing an MLS is the right choice. There is much to be gained for someone who believes that the degree can give them something tangible. But there are other ways to get that knowledge.

Overall, I am happy that I decided to get my MLS. I have many issues with the program at Southern, most having to do with the method of instruction (someday, I will get to discussing all of that). Meanwhile, I have no other option but to believe that my MLS was worth it. Anything else is unacceptable.


Computer Self-Efficacy in the Academic Library

May 28, 2008

I’ve been meaning to post a link the research paper on computer self-efficacy that I wrote this past semester. I admit that I have been deliberately staying away from computers after work – and as such, blogging has been a very low priority. Anyway, for those who were interested, the paper (Computer Self-Efficacy and the Academic Library Employee: An Examination of Their Relationship) can be found here.


Now, I Can Celebrate!

May 18, 2008

Tonight, my professor for ILS680-Evaluation & Research posted grades for both our research paper and the class itself. While I was fairly certain that I would pass the class, I was extremely anxious about what the professor would have to say about my paper. This professor has a reputation for being tough (but fair)and for expecting quality work. She is the type of professor that compels me to work harder, to give more of myself, to try to do the best that I can, etc. The bottom line is that I did much better than I expected. I am thrilled with the grade that I got on my paper. The professor had some excellent suggestions – things that I wish that I had been able to see while I was writing the paper, of course.

Anyway, from the beginning of my time at SCSU, I wasn’t sure what to do about ILS680 and its research requirement. I put off taking the class for as long as possible. I agonized over which professor’s section I should take. I worried about topics. Beyond that, I wasn’t sure how much a research class would add to my MLS experience. However, I can honestly say that now I believe this to be THE most valuable class out of the 12 I have taken. It was a wonderful experience despite the fact that it was often painful. No other class has given me such a great feeling of accomplishment. I admit that while I felt this feeling of accomplishment from the moment that I turned in my paper, I have a much deeper feeling of satisfaction after having received my grade.

As I said earlier, I can now celebrate and enjoy a sense of accomplishment for having gotten this far!


Special Project Completed

May 14, 2008

While I have not received a grade on my ILS680-Evaluation & Research paper yet (or a final grade for the class), I did receive written confirmation that I have completed the special project requirement. This is definitely cause for a minor celebration. I’m fairly certain that I could not have passed the special project requirement if I did not receive at least a B on my research paper. This should mean that I passed the class. I will certainly feel better (I hope) when I actually receive a grade for the semester. However, for now, I am extremely happy.


I May Be Missing Out

May 14, 2008

About a month ago, a coworker and I were talking at lunch. Like many people, she asked me if I was planning on attending the graduation ceremonies at Southern Connecticut. I told her that I wasn’t – a decision that I made even before I entered the program. This coworker had gone to graduate school and did not attend her graduation. She commented that she often thought she should have attended. I did not think too much about this conversation and about my own feelings about the subject until the last week or so.

I finished my school work a couple of weeks ago. I am now waiting anxiously for grades to be posted. I don’t really think there is much chance that I did not pass the class or that I won’t have completed all of my requirements in order to graduate this month. However, I have been thinking about the ritual of graduation, and the natural closure that it provides to one’s educational experience. Graduation ceremonies for the graduate school at SCSU are being held on May 22nd. And, I think that I am a bit sad that I never even considered going.

Because I attended SCSU as a distance student, I have never felt any type of realistic connection to the school. I have developed online relationships with professors, students, librarians and employees. But all of this was done through either email or the WebCT online classroom. However, without any type of of physical orientation or formal graduation ceremony, I never had any formal starting or ending points to my education. I do not feel as I am finished. I do not feel that sense of accomplishment that I remember from both my college and high school graduations. Additionally, I think that graduation would have allowed me the opportunity to meet fellow students and some of the professors.

As a rule, I don’t believe in the concept of regret, but I do believe that I am missing something important by not attending the graduation ceremonies. A lesson learned.