Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Library School: Semester 2

I'm not sure if anyone who reads this blog is at all interested in a librarian's education. But I know that when I was trying to decide whether to go to library school or not I had lots of questions about what it would be like. So I'll add my two cents, in case anyone is in a similar pickle. Short answer: Library school is awesome! Read on for the long answer.

I'm now officially halfway through my two-year program at UNC. Woot! First semester wrap-up is here. This semester I took:

Human-Information Interactions You might be thinking, what the hell does that mean? Well, I was asking that too. This is the basic information science theory class that we're all required to take. Basic questions covered: What is information? Why and how do people seek information in different contexts? How do we assess and evaluate information? I was dreading this class because it sounded abstract and theoretical and horrible. But I actually really enjoyed it. Good professor definitely helped.

Organization of Information This class was a giant headache, though I did learn a lot about how information professionals organize information (not only bibliographic info, but all kinds, including business). Our semester-long project was to invent a system of organization for any kind of "document" we wanted -- a classmate and I did board games, which was pretty fun. If that sounds interesting, you can see the whole project here.

Management for Information Professionals This class was a bit of a joke. I understand why it's a requirement (as librarians we will probably all have to supervise people), but it all seemed very much common sense to me. But it was a really, really easy class, so I'm not complaining. My final project was a website about work-life balance (beware: it's quite bull-shitty).

Web Development My favorite class this semester! I completely love making websites. We learned XHTML and CSS (and whoa, was I creating some seriously non-standard and messy HTML before this class). We also did a little PHP, which about made my head explode because I'd never had any programming. But I think I got the important bits. I created two websites for the class (both completely HAND-CODED, oh boy!): Body Systems (a pretend gym equipment company) and Durham Speaks (a prototype that may actually be used by the Durham Public Library for their oral history project).

So next year I get to take 7 more classes, write a master's paper, and find the perfect job. Hmmm. That's several months away, though. :)

This summer I'm continuing with my job at a branch library at UNC. And I also got a really cool internship georeferencing historic maps (so that we can overlay a historic map on a current google map and people can see how areas have changed over time). It's really fun!

I've got catch-up book reviews that I'll post soon. :)

More beautiful library photos here!


meljean brook said...

Oh, god -- those libraries. *weeps with envy*

Wendy said...

I had to brace myself from the flashbacks. Although kudos to you for learning XHTML and CSS. My brain would have probably exploded.

And yeah, I think a BS management class is pretty much mandatory - no matter where you attend library school.

nath said...

It's sooo cool! i'm glad that you're loving it!! :) I'm sure you aced all your classes! :)

Enjoy your vacation!

Jennie said...

Meljean -- I know! I could stare at those pictures for hours.

Wendy -- My management class seemed especially bullshitty because it was also an online class, which just made it seem more ridiculous. I had fun doing the course evaluation though. :)

Nath -- Thanks! It's actually great because we don't get real grades -- only pass or fail. It takes a lot of pressure off. I will definitely enjoy my vacation! :)

nath said...

Oh really? Pass or fail? Definitively takes a lot of pressure off :D I'm so glad you like it... have to say, I'm a bit jealous ^_^;

Li said...

I love the second pic! I would be completely intimidated by the third library.

I am impressed by all your websites, btw :-)