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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Online Course of Study

1:30 pm, Saturday

Just came chugging back up the hill from the Turkey Hill C-store and am going to try once again to start my revisions for Cataloging class.  Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) got the better of me this week, and I've had to rethink how I study, not just for this class but for all my classes.  The textbook for this class is, to put it mildly, densely written, but I'm reserving final judgement until I get a little further along.

I'm taking a 100% online Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS, sometimes called a MLIS, or Master of Information and Library Science) degree from Clarion University, a PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) college in north central Pennsylvania.  In December, provided I survive Cataloging, I'll be halfway through the program.

My coursework has been mostly required classes up to this point (Information Sources and Services[working the reference desk], intro to research, collection development, Library management, Intro to information professions, and the aforementioned Cataloging and Classification class.  Soon to come are bibliography classes for various fields of study (I'm taking Humanities and Sciences), three classes in the digital/electronic realm, and a class in teaching strategies for librarians.  The last one is particularly important because information literacy skills are being taught at all levels, even college, and are becoming a significant part of the first-year experience (what they used to call freshman orientation).  The thinking is (and I believe it is sound) that time, money, and energy are better spent on helping students build a solid foundation of study skills during the first year than spending three days during the summer after high school graduation babysitting them, hoping they don't get drunk or sick or arrested or worse.

What do I hope to get out of all this education?  My goal is  to work as a librarian at the college level, preferably as a Music Specialist in a conservatory setting.  It has been pointed out that there ARE other options, and I'm certainly learning that, but even if I don't get a Music School job, I can STILL work in other areas of librarianship and be fulfilled.

Dewey Decimal System next week.  More later.

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