For those who go in to library school with very little library background, I figured I would write down my thoughts, obvious as they may be.
1. Talk about books over beers.
“Networking” is a thing we are told we have to do but very little is said about what that means. Talking about libraries over a pint or some BBQ is networking! It is also remarkably pleasant. Since pints in Illinois are $2 - which is cheaper than bottled water in NYC - this makes sense from a financial perspective as well.
2. Start looking at job sites your first semester.
If you already have a library job, that’s fantastic. If you don’t it’s really important to know what is out there, where jobs are posted and what exactly to expect when you are ready to be employed.
3. Do good work.
I was lucky enough to have a lot of professors who work or worked in various libraries so most of my projects were directly related to my career. If you find that you can’t directly apply a project to Real Library Land then you should re-examine the class. Your professors also become your colleagues so submitting passionate, grammatically correct work is important.
4. Don’t whine about group projects.
Just don’t. We all feel the same way but complaining solves nothing.
5. Visit libraries and talk to the librarians.
Everywhere you go, just pop in to the local library. Check out what displays they have, see who is using the space, take note of how they set up their desks and signage. It’s so incredible! There are a million ideas out there.
6. Do the social media thing.
Even if you just lurk, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest are important platforms for idea sharing, industry news, amusing colleagues and general library insights. Same goes for listservs, join local and national groups early!
7. Your non-grad school friends won’t care that you’re stressed about an assignment.
But feel free to complain about that shit all you want, your bad self is in grad school, you can really do what you want.