I took my last exam of the semester last night and now I am free! Well sort of. Even though my academic work is done, I’m still doing professional development and networking type things. I went the the North Carolina Special Libraries Association banquet last Thursday and it was a blast! We had wine and a three course meal (we all had salad, I chose salmon and chocolate dessert) and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of great librarians. I sat at a table with a husband and wife; the wife worked for the National Humanities Center, which was kismet because NCCU SLA organized a tour there, but I had a class presentation and was unable to go, and the husband was a retired government librarian. He gave me some great information on library positions available overseas in embassies and on military bases, which for some reason never occurred to me. Being from a military family, you’d think I would have thought of that. I also sat with two other librarians and a library student from UNC. They were a lot of fun and they were very interesting people. I actually had a great time. I met up with my mentor, who is fantastic and who works for NC Live, and I got to meet her husband who is in the fellowship program at NC State. That was crazy because tonight, I went to a Triangle Research Library Network reception for students in fellowship/internship/scholarship programs from schools that are in the TRLN (NC State, UNC, NCCU and Duke) and Charlie was there! Small world. I also saw and spoke with Erin who was the other student who received a scholarship to attend NCLA. It was great to talk with other students who are at varying levels and who are as motivated as you are. They were an amazing source of inspiration and advice. It was also advantageous to know about the other programs and see how our stacks up. One thing I would like for ours to have is job placement. I feel like there isn’t any support for us students as far as practical opportunities and experience. Through a conversation with two other students in my program, we discovered that we have a lot of information to share amongst each other, so I’m thinking of starting a sort of information circle within our program. Maybe that can supplement and fill in where I think our program and advising may be lacking. I just hope that it doesn’t become a weekly gripe circle.
Anyway, I had a great couple of weeks and now I’m on the hunt for other opportunities. I’ve started a goals list for my academic pursuits.
1) I’m trying to get started on finding a thesis topic so I can begin my research/literature review process. I know I want to focus on Spanish speaking populations, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I initially wanted to travel to a few countries and report on their library services and make recommendations for US libraries, but I don’t think that will be feasible in the amount of time I have.
2) I’d also like to get something published, but that’s looking grim because I don’t feel as though I have anything original to say. I’ve tried getting some help gaining a direction on it, but that’s looking grim as well.
3) I want to do at least one internship. The issue with this is that it’s seeming like I will have to pick and choose between which skills I want to enhance through the internship. Ideally, I would have one where I can practice my Spanish; practically do library functions like cataloging, interlibrary loan, etc; be active in outreach initiatives; and get paid for it. 🙂
4) I want to participate in a committee of some sort, either with ALA or NCLA
I think that’s all for now. (lol Like that isn’t a ton of work already) I just want to be well-rounded and prepared and have a job lined up before I graduate. That’s my ultimate goal. So, for the next month before the Spring semester begins, I have cut back my work schedule so I have my weekday days free to work on these things, as well as my other creative pursuits.
Here’s to success. (imagine raising a glass of white wine…or red, you can drink whatever you want)