Author: Autumn
•3/30/2010 11:11:00 PM
A lot of stuff has been happening to me lately career-wise. Namely, I've decided what direction I am heading in and the first few steps down that road. But for some reason, I haven't actually told that many people about it. So, it's about time I did because (1) I want to be accountable for what I've decided, and (2) I am just so darn excited about it.

SHORT VERSION (If you just want the facts):
  • I want to be a librarian when I grow up
  • I am going back to school for my master's degree in library science
  • Great program at University of Missouri-Columbia partnering with University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • I want to start in the fall if possible, the spring if not
  • I've been working for the Omaha Public Library system as an aide (lowest rung) since November
  • Today I was promoted to a clerk (next rung), which is a different challenge pays a hell of a lot better.
  • Yay!

LONGER VERSION (details/back story):
I have decided to go back to school and get a master's degree in library science and pursue a career as a librarian. Woot!

I was obsessed with books and libraries as a kid, I did a bit of volunteering in high school, and I worked at my university library for three years. I'm still obsessed with books. Yet somehow libraries as a career never occurred to me. In college I was so focused on journalism I didn't even consider this.

But then a year or two ago, a good friend implanted the idea in my head, whether she meant to or not. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I haven't since really. It was a huge "duh" moment for me. Why had I never once thought about it before? It felt like such a perfect fit.

Once I moved back to Omaha, I applied for anything library related, and I got a job with the Omaha Public Library system back in November. The position was for a part-time library aide, which is the worst paid position in the whole system. But I didn't even care because I was working in a library again and it was a foot in the door, a first step.

Despite two cases of flooding over the winter, I have been loving it. I work with great people, and my obsessive attention to detail and AR tendencies are finally being appreciated. Yay!

Last week I interviewed for a part-time clerk position that had opened up at my same branch, and I found out today that I got the job. It is just over a 50% pay increase from what I make as an aide. And it's a completely different job description, so it's a chance to show them that I am good with people too, not just books.

After starting at the library, talking to the librarians there, talking to librarians I worked with in college and doing A TON OF THINKING, I finally hopped off the fence in February and committed to going back to school to get my master's degree. Yes, to get anywhere as a librarian you need a master's. Everyone I talk to seems to be stunned by that tidbit.

Luckily, I can stay in Omaha and do a really great program at a decently affordable price. I just have to get accepted! UNO partnered with University of Missouri-Columbia awhile back so that people in Nebraska wouldn't have to leave the state to get a library science degree. So I stay in Omaha, taking classes partially online partially on campus in some pretty innovative ways, but I pay "in-state" tuition to Missouri. And I wind up with a degree from University of Missouri-Columbia, not UNO.

I am taking the GRE in two weeks, which is my biggest hurdle, a sort of general SAT for grad school, and I have an appointment next week with the UNO liaison to learn even more about the program, courses and how it all works.

I really feel like this is the right direction for me, and I can't wait to get started. As nervous as I am about going back to school, I am also really looking forward to taking classes again and the things I'll be learning. And I already know so many great people (including many great librarian friends) who have been so supportive so far. I know you all will continue to be so once I'm in school and wondering what the hell I got myself into. Thank you!

P.S. I apologize for any mistakes in this post, but it's late and I'm tired and feeling much too lazy to go back and read through this now.
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