Was Library School Worth It?

So I’ve been out of school for about 9 months now and it kinda of sucks. Just a little bit. Truth be told I have a love/hate relationship with school in general. I miss the safety that you get with consistency but it can only do so much to prepare you for the world. I remember the day I told my parents I was going to graduate school for Library and Information Science. And it went a little like this….

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When I go to job interviews or example to someone I want to be in the field of data analytics and Library and Information Science is a good fit. It goes like this…

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So I am going to tell you why going to library school nurtured  data science skills. Three reasons why

  1. Become a better researcher
  2. Public Service Skills
  3. Communication Skills

Become a better researcher

Day One of library school you learn that Google ain’t all that.Google is a powerful search engine tool but if you do not define you search into a narrow question then your search results come flat. When I was working at the university library I had to help a few undergrads with their research by using what we call a reference interview. Helping students ask the right questions. I tend to use it on myself a lot these days to help define a project to use my data science portfolio.

Public Service Skills

As a librarian you are a public servant. You serve the people. Which includes everyone no matter what creed,race, or gender the person happens to be. I took an Intro to Web Development class during my graduate career. It was completely different from the web development courses from Code Academy, Team Treehouse and FreeCodeCamp in that it was about accessibility. Never once when I self taught myself web development have I ever thought about how a blind person or deaf person uses the web.

Library school just made me more aware of what’s going on in the world in general. Most of the people who attend GSLIS come from history and social science. It got me out of my comfort zone. Most of the time I would look at tech blogs like CSS trick, stackOverflow, A-List Apart and HackerNews.My friends influenced me to listen to NPR , CNN, The Read and just think about the world around me. How can I use technology just make a positive impact on society?

Communication Skills

In undergrad it was all about homework…

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In library school it was mostly about final projects instead of bombarding you with homework assignments. The only person policing your education is you.Every class involved presentation. To be able to not only convey your ideas to an entire room of people but to keep them interested as well is an art. I also had to write argumentative essays. For example, in one of my classes I had to develop a strategic plan to present to stakeholders for building an inclusive digital community. Or I had to write documentation on technologies for example how do you go about doing diagnostics on Chromebooks that cannot connect via the wifi network.

I know that my Altar Mata is going forth to focus more on hard science of Information Science. But the soft skills that I learned from my library courses have given an edge as well.

 

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