AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Education

6 Apr

2017atozDuring the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I chose to look at leadership qualities as I’ve just recently (within the past 6 months) become the director of my public library. We have about 50 staff members, most of whom are part-time employees serving a 30,000 resident community by providing high-quality programs and resources. Each day, I’ll look at one trait and how it’s helped me to become a better director.

Most people don’t know that to be a librarian, you need to have a Master’s Degree, yep that’s additional schooling after college and although many people argue whether or not this should be a requirement, right now it is. I knew I wanted to be a librarian since about the age of 7 and really didn’t waver from that decision my entire life. So I finished up undergraduate work in three years, instead of the typical four and went straight to graduate school. I was able to get a job offer straight out of graduate school and a few years later I went back to school for an additional graduate degree in Public Administration.

Being in the library world, there isn’t a lot of vertical mobility – you usually start as a librarian, quite possibly becoming a branch manager and then becoming a director. At which point, that’s about as high as you’ll get in the library field, unless you work for a state library, association or as a consultant. With very little possibility to gain experience as a manager, I chose a second graduate degree in Public Administration to gain knowledge in fields such as financial management, leadership, human resources and staffing, etc. I felt that by having the educational background, it at least gave me a chance when I didn’t have the opportunity to gain the experience.

I decided to apply for the director position at my library because I was afraid that the opportunity wouldn’t come around again for quite a while (my last director was in the position for 37+ years). I definitely miss seeing “my kids” now that my office is away from the public space of the library, but I really felt that I could lead our library into the future and I’m excited to be doing that already at my library! There are so many possibilities and I’m just starting to explore what we are capable of and it’s an exciting time!

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9 Responses to “AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Education”

  1. Trudy April 6, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    I saw your link on the A to Z blog today and it drew me in. I already knew librarians need a Master’s because I considered that career for a few years. I have always loved libraries, and volunteered at a middle school library for 10 years. One year I was a substitute for librarians and subbed in an elementary school. I loved it, especially story time with the kids.

    When I decided to return to school (at age 50) and pondered on the path to follow, I went back and forth between Library Science and Film. Film won.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Eggplants

    • literacious April 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

      I love to hear people’s stories about how they chose (or did not choose)to be librarians, people from all different types of disciplines. I strongly considered an art history minor in undergraduate and I think that is not uncommon for librarians either.

  2. Denise April 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

    I am blogging about my trip to Europe last year with our local library director. We have a nationally recognized library and I am a very frequent visitor.

    • literacious April 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

      How cool, I’ll definitely check it out!

  3. Donna (@Girl_Who_Reads) April 6, 2017 at 3:22 pm #

    I knew that most librarians had to have MLS degrees these days. We still have a few librarian positions in our really rural areas. There aren’t a lot of schools that offer the degree. A few years ago I was looking to change careers and thought about becoming a librarian but I couldn’t find a program local to me. Donna from Girl Who Reads

    • literacious April 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm #

      There are a number of programs that now offer online courses, which are not for everyone, but do provide access to library school even if a local school doesn’t offer it.

  4. Weekends in Maine April 6, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    Two of my close friends pursued online master degrees in Library Science. They have both been happy in the field. It’s so interesting how much libraries do beyond loaning books. The role has evolved a lot. WeekendsInMaine

    • literacious April 6, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

      Exactly! That’s what I hope my blog helps to share – all the amazing things libraries do (including checking out books)!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Survivor | literacious - May 1, 2017

    […] April 3 – Budget April 4 – Change April 5 – Determination April 6 – Education April 7 – Forward-Thinking April 8 – Growth April 10 – Humble April 11 – […]

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