I’m a panelist on The State of Readers’ Advisory

I’m excited to join a fantastic group of librarians and book professionals on Novelist’s webinar “The State of Readers’ Advisory.” We’ll be discussing the findings of the State of Readers’ Advisory 2021 survey, conducted by Library Journal and sponsored by RUSA CODES, ARRT, LibraryReads, and NoveList. The webinar is Wednesday, August 18 – make sure you register!

Webinar: The State of Readers’ Advisory

Picture of Margot Robie as a librarian from SNL

I love working at a public library

It’s National Library Week and I’m excited to be celebrating as a library professional, not just a student or a fan. I’ve been working at a public library for about five months now and I love it!

I originally went into my MLIS thinking I would end up in archives. That was my goal all along. I still love archives and special collections, but job hunting has shown me those jobs are few and far between. I moved back to Chicago thinking the market would be more robust. There are tons of universities, museums, and private institutions here that have archives. But every job I applied for didn’t work out. I had a couple of interviews (which made me feel great!) but many of them I never heard back from. Or I heard back from them months later saying I didn’t get it. It was frustrating to see that my career goals were halted by the application process, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.

I diversified and started applying for public library jobs. I loved the limited coursework I took about public libraries – specifically readers advisory. And there were so many places in the area looking for part time librarians. I guess people need librarians more than institutions need archivists? I’m happy that I ended up doing this though, as it eventually lead me to my current job.

I’m an avid reader and reviewer so recommending new fiction to people professionally seemed like a dream. And now I get to do it every day! I wouldn’t say my dreams of being an archivist are gone. I would still love to be one in some capacity. But I have realized that working with the public every day is amazing and so much more up my alley. There are always things to do and I’m lucky to work at a place that gives me the freedom to explore programming that aligns with my interests. It’s busy, never-ending work but I’ve found I thrive on it. It’s funny to think that only five years ago I was in a job that I didn’t like, where the best part of my day was walking to the library to pick up some books.

So happy National Library Week from this humble new librarian!

New achievement unlocked: MLIS!

Well it’s done. I got my MLIS. I finished my coursework back in August, but my actual diploma arrived last week.

It’s been a weird ride. These past two years getting my degree have been tough. I moved my life from Chicago to Milwaukee and studied full time. I hadn’t been in school since I was 22, and adjusting to homework life was rough. But two years later, I turned in my last assignment and was done with homework forever. It felt weird. I didn’t feel excited or happy that graduate school was over. I felt nervous and relieved. It was over, and I was back in the real world – back to job hunting and waiting for the official word from school that I was done. It’s all been very sobering.

Until I got my diploma. Holding that dumb piece of paper made me feel ecstatic! I was done, and ready to start a new adventure. Job hunting is not the most exciting, or even uplifting, thing in the world. But each application I submit is a new possibility, a fresh start for my new career.

I’m happy to have my MLIS. I’m happy to be back in Chicago and bring what I learned back to my home. Next goal – to get a job!