Reconsidering MLIS.

Even though I think I’d be better off reading some borrowed books…I’ll write, a bit.

I’ve been puzzling over what to do as regards a career path, in recent days.  Those who have been with me from before this blog’s renaming will probably remember that finding a career path was the initial point of this blog.

Although I’m coming to appreciate the Library more and more (as I actually read the books I check out, rather than let them sit on the table and gather dust), I’m really not certain that I want to be employed by them, long term.  Particularly, dealing with disturbed or hostile patrons (plus sexual harassment) are the major drawbacks.

I’ve sent out an email to numerous people I have worked for, and am hoping for a response from them.  One person has gotten back to me already…

If I really wanted to, I could probably re-enter training to become a Librarian as of Fall 2016, cleanly.  The question remains, is that something I really want to do?  But I have a limited number of years before me in which my parents will remain alive and able to care for me.  Librarianship is…it’s something I’m familiar with.  I’ve been at my current post for the last five years, and I don’t tire of finding new titles to read.  It would also be nice to be able to help patrons find what they need, in a manner in which I can’t, now.

What I really want to do is to be an author and/or illustrator; however, neither of those paths are financially secure.  Becoming either a part-time or full-time Librarian would keep me around books and other sources of information, and would pay me enough to stay off the street, at least!  In my free time, I will be able to read (though to what extent this is part of the job in a Public Library, I’m not sure), and either work on my writing, and/or my art.

I have two paths before me which I can go down, if I want to be hired in some way by either the Library or the Publishing industry:

  1. Reapply for the Master’s program this Fall, for Fall 2016.  (I will have to resubmit transcripts.)
  2. Complete my Art AA in Spring 2016.
  3. Go back to iSchool in Fall 2016.
  4. Apply for a part-time Library Assistant position.
  5. Complete my iSchool training in three years, by Fall 2019.
  6. Begin paying off my loans.
  7. After 10 years, my remaining loan balance (for my Master’s training) should be forgiven — if I continue on in the Public Library.

The benefit to this path is that it’s clear, regimented, and secure:  I know what I will have to do in order to be successful.  I’d have to pass my classes (which include a lot of group work), plan my classes out, and submit a complete ePortfolio in Fall 2019.  I’d also need to maintain a working connection to the school.

The other path is here:

  1. While I am hired as a Library Student Assistant and/or Library Assistant, read and learn about different Publishing Houses and authors.
  2. Apply for a Library Assistant position.
  3. When I have enough accumulated knowledge about books, presses, and authors, try for an internship in a Publishing House.
  4. If I like that and am accepted, I could go on to become an Editor at a Publishing House (eventually).

The benefit to this path is that it is not a public service position.  The main drawback to it is that I would have to tell people information that they probably would not want to hear, on a regular basis.  I’m sure there will be some gems who would like feedback, but I can’t bet on that happening, all the time.

So… to keep my options open, what I can do is this:

  1. Reapply for iSchool this Fall.
  2. Continue on in my Art classes so that I graduate with the Art AA in Spring 2016.
  3. Read books out of the Library which interest me.
  4. Review how to navigate the iSchool, online, and finish reading what I didn’t complete, in Fall 2012.
  5. If I still want to, go back to iSchool in Fall 2016.
  6. Apply for a part-time Library Assistant position.
  7. Complete all courses, including the ePortfolio, by Fall 2019.
  8. I’m now free to become a Librarian (or an Editor, if I wish), and can end my stint in higher education, here.
  9. By Fall 2029, the remaining balance of my Masters’ loans (which will be the majority of my debt) should be forgiven.

This will only work insofar as public libraries continue to remain in existence.  We already have to deal with competition from the Internet, but really, the two realms are very different.  One is in-person, community-based and community-organized.  The other is finding whatever information anyone has decided to post, online.

Although becoming a Librarian wouldn’t be my top choice of jobs to take…it’s the most apparent one, and the career path on which I’ve already started.  The window to complete all my units and graduate in seven years, total, is almost up.  If I take over seven years (that is, if I don’t graduate by Fall 2019), I’ll just have to retake the two or three classes I took in my first semester.  Kind of a pain, but at least there is that leeway built into things.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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