I’ve got a plan as to how to handle the tension between Web Design and Librarianship, though I’m not sure if I’ve already written it here. I think I’ll remember it, but just in case:
Since I am on the edge of getting an LIS degree, and will therefore soon be able to move into a Library Assistant or Librarian position, it makes sense to take one of those jobs immediately after graduation. Either one has a much higher pay scale (compared to what I’m doing now) and at least the possibility of benefits. The LA position is paraprofessional; Librarian positions are professional.
If I do get the Master’s, I plan on re-taking Cataloging through the ALA. I will also have the income then to take additional courses. There are a lot that I’ve wanted to take, but didn’t have time to. Continuing Professional Development will be expected of me as a Librarian, however.
I will likely also have the income for tools and books to further my interest in and study of Web Design. This includes up-to-date graphics programs (though the most fundamental are currently cloud-based), a DSLR camera, and a graphics tablet. (The tablet comes first.)
Depending on my living situation, I may also be able to put some money away towards the possibility of tuition and fees for a MFA in Design. Right now this is so far out of reach, that it’s unrealistic to think about blowing all that money on something I’m not even sure I’ll like.
However, during my time as a Librarian, it will be possible for me to work on my Web Design skills, learn Web Design and Development via the Internet as much as I can, and work on the website of a library via a Technical Services and/or Virtual Library position. It will be possible for me to be a Webmaster in that arena, though probably not for a while.
Some time later, after I have the money to be able to take on a Design MFA without breaking myself (timewise or financially), and I have identified a school at which to study, then I can decide if I still actually can use an MFA, or if I know what I need to know, already. I will also likely know by then, if I actually would rather stay a Librarian (that is, if I like being a Librarian).
This matters because becoming a full-time Web Designer would be a change into a very competitive, for-profit field, and also would likely entail a cut in pay and benefits. I would be able to work independently, though. It’s also a more creative position, but there are other ways to be creative that aren’t, you know, careers. And this is assuming that there is still a Web as we know it, by the time I reach this point.
Given that thought, it would be best to invest in soft skills, as well as technical ones.
If I worked in a Public Library, I could feed my need to be creative by helping with art and craft programs; if I worked in an Academic Library, I could feed it by developing study aids and doing Instructional Design. (Not quite the same thing, but the same feeling of accomplishment when things start to come together at the end.)
Right now it looks like weighing the benefits of creativity and integrity against each other, although as I think I’ve said before — I’m not even totally sure I am still a creative person, on medication.
Medication can also change…so that’s a variable that I should keep in the back of my mind. I may not be on what I’m on now, for the rest of my life. Before my symptoms were controlled, I was constantly creative (in a way that I actually produced things), but I couldn’t care for myself as well. There’s kind of a trade-off there, I mean.
I’m starting to get a headache, here: I went to bed at 5:30 PM, about, and woke up at 9, then watched some cartoons and the first Deadpool movie. It’s now 2 AM; I can get back to sleep. Tomorrow, I can plan on working on some of my ePortfolio tasks…particularly, essay writing. I hope I’ll be up to it.
And yeah…I suppose it is possible to “dabble” in Web Design…but either Web Design or Librarianship could take up all of my time.
I spoke with someone who says this sounds like a solid plan, though I was talking over his head at some points. I hope it’s a solid plan…
And yes, I did just totally forget about my desire to learn Japanese language and work in Special Collections. That is the alternate pathway, if I don’t end up liking (or just can’t or don’t want to do) Web Design. I should have time to study nihongo alongside everything else too, in the early stages…
Hmm. Exactly where and how would I work that in, though?
If I don’t go for a Design MFA, though, I could still put the money I saved towards a Japanese Language and Literature MA…!