Sunday, November 30, 2008

Perspective on my preparation: My "lightbulb" class

I am very excited to be nearing the beginning of my career as a librarian! I am equally saddened that I am nearing the end of the formal education process.

I have learned a tremendous amount in the last couple years in the program and am well prepared to continue learning on my own in the future. I have made great contacts and found (and learned how to find) great resources for continuing my education and research in the years to come.

The teacher who led me to start this blog for the class, Computer Applications in the School Library Media Center, has been the highlight of this education process! I’ve not asked her permission so I will not mention her name, but will complement her for teaching real world topics at the appropriate level for professionals entering a career defined by these topics.

Though incredibly satisfied with the totality of my education, I have, occasionally, suffered with ill prepared, unfocused, and antiquated adjunct professors and theory-heavy, practical-application-lacking tenured professors. Sadly I would estimate that half of my classes were not preparatory for the real world experience of school librarianship in the 21st century.

This class has force fed us many tools we will use in our libraries and will hopefully use to communicate with one-another and stay in touch with the library community. We have learned how to integrate technology into the curriculum, how to facilitate professional development, and how to teach Internet safety. We have debated real world copyright issues and, most recently, been shamed into updating our resumes.

The workload has been heavy; ridiculously so for those of us who strove to overachieve! Yet the takeaway has exceeded the effort!

I still have many weaknesses; some in areas that I feel should have been addressed in this program. To achieve my goals, I will need to continue the informal aspects of my education for years to come – as, I have learned, all high performing librarians do as a matter of habit and conscience. As we conclude this class, for the first time, I feel prepared to take on the role and responsibility of school library media specialist.

Readers please note that I am not bitter about any failings of this program but am in fact jubilant over its successes. If half of my classes were inadequate, then the other half, by definition, have been very good. I have long believed that the primary goal of the collegiate experience is to teach students how to learn and adapt so that they may succeed in their chosen profession. I know in my heart that this program has succeeded, because I now know how to learn and adapt in the arena of school librarianship in the 21st century.

I am prepared and excited and looking forward to the future!

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