As most of you know, I’m a library science student, earning my MLIS through Drexel University’s online program. I’m in my third of four quarters, my classes are currently kicking my butt, and I’m counting down the weeks until I’ll have my degree in September.
Sometimes, while I’m sitting at my daytime job doing things completely unrelated to libraries, I wonder why I’m doing it. It’s hard to get a job at a library right now (at least in my part of the U.S.), and I ended up working in the food service industry before picking up my current, seasonal, government job. I’ve accumulated quite a bit of debt already, even with my substantial fellowship, and there’s no real guarantee of getting a library job in a location I like after I’ve got that piece of paper in September.
So, why am I doing it?
This picture in part shows why. This is my current haul from my local public library, excluding five textbooks I’ve checked out on a long-term loan (which I therefore don’t have to buy at an exorbitant amount).
- These are all books, movies, and CDs I’ve borrowed free-of-charge.
- The CD and one of the books are through interlibrary loan, meaning I ordered them from other libraries in Connecticut, but they were shipped directly to my library.
- I have an additional seven outstanding interlibrary loan requests — and chances are excellent that I’ll get all those books in the coming month.
- All of the movies are from my library, and I can check out ridiculous numbers of them because of the holiday weekend.
The library is a wonderful place to have free access to the things you love, or the things you need for school. To me, it’s a place where I can go and use a computer to print out a syllabus when my home printer isn’t working, or access a database when I need to check out an academic article. It’s a place where I can attend a book discussion or movie screening, find out about new local businesses, or simply chat with a librarian about the latest episode of Sherlock, all of which I’ve done this month alone.
What this long-winded post is trying to say is that I looked at this pile of stuff that I have out, and I thought about the events I’ve attended in the past month, all from a library servicing a population of ~5,000 people, and I think, "Wow."