Should I Go to School to be a Librarian?

I decided to go to library school because the best job I could get with an undergraduate degree in Classics was at a beer & wine store. It was pretty good, as far as retail/service jobs go, but I have terrible teeth and needed a future secured with dental benefits.

There was no way I was going to get a Masters in Classics, nor did I desire to spend my life in academia, but I still liked feeling a little bit academic (i.e. pretentious). By the great power of fate, the idea of an MLIS fell into my lap. I’m not even sure how I found out that there is a Masters of Library and Information Studies degree. I probably Googled, “grad school no subject requirements”.

The idea of being a librarian also interested me because I like working with people and I had enjoyed my time working at a used bookstore, which I thought would be similar (HAHA). Before starting the program, I was mostly clueless about what librarians actually do. Luckily, I ended up loving library work!

Here are some signs that library school may be for you:

  • You are really good at internet stalking your ex or your boyfriend/girlfriend’s exes.
  • You like doing lots of different tasks – all at once!
  • You have worked in customer service and enjoy all of the world’s highly colourful characters. Bonus points if you have experience working with people who have behavioural problems. My experiences with beer & wine store customers unexpectedly became very useful for reference work.
  • You pick up new subjects and new technology quickly.
  • You are good at writing and teaching.
  • You have no designs on becoming rich through your own merit, but would like to be paid decently.
  • You like cats and are a regular reader of Buzzfeed Animals/Zooborns.
  • You like books/reading. Just don’t write this as the reason you want to go to library school on your application. I get to read a lot at work, but I am usually skimming through something like the Conduct of Civil Litigation in British Columbia, not exactly my usual Victorian Gothic fare.

Don’t go to library school if:

  • You’re a weirdo dude who is doing it just to meet ladies. We all see through your ruse!

Without getting into the nitty gritty of what the program and work consists of, I will add that the best thing about going to library school was becoming part of the ever-wonderful library community. Both my social circle and my job are made so much better by the lovely and helpful librarians I know!

Here are some similar posts by other people:

Advice to Future Librarians Entering Grad School

So You Want to Become a Librarian/Archivist

Once you are in library school, check out Tips for Library School Students.

No cats today because I discovered what a stoat is: