Current SLIS student Brianna Marshall (MIS/MLS) recently contributed the article, "Tips for new students looking for library school jobs" to the blog Hack Library School.
In an email interview, we asked her about blogging - and how she sees it as a way to prepare for her professional career. Her responses are included here:
What are your current career plans/goals?
• When I graduate in May 2014 I hope to find a professional position working with digital projects in an academic library. I can see myself ending up in a digital library program, library technology department, or in a digital archivist role.
How were you introduced to blogging?
• I started my blog, Not So Stern Librarian, at the suggestion of my mentor (a SLIS alumnus) when I was a senior in college getting ready to apply to library school. At first, I felt awkward because I wanted to write all the "right" things—only I wasn't sure what they were exactly. It was only when I moved to Bloomington and started classes at SLIS that I gave myself permission to just be myself and write what I wanted. I'm a big proponent of merging the personal and the professional, so my posts are generally informal; I have no qualms including photos of my cat or details about non-library aspects of my life. In January 2012, I became a contributing writer at Hack Library School, and this month I've been asked to step in as Managing Editor!
How do you see blogging as a useful tool for a future information professional?
• Blogging is valuable for several reasons. Having a blog is a great way to start managing your online identity and personal brand. It can connect you to colleagues outside your geographic region. It demonstrates engagement within the profession and acts as a living, breathing writing sample.
• Although I've only been blogging intermittently for a few years, I can already attest to its usefulness. I have had opportunities open up that would not have happened if I hadn't developed an online presence. For instance, I regularly receive emails from students seeking advice on applying for library school, links to my blog posts have been retweeted by ALA Joblist, and two of my HackLibSchool posts have been featured on American Libraries Direct. I absolutely feel more connected to the profession as a result of blogging.
Tips for students:
• I would encourage students to start a blog if they are so inclined; if you write in a way you feel represents you well, there really isn't a downfall to blogging. However, my advice is to have fun with it! After all, we have to write an abundance of blog posts for classes as it is—the last thing anyone needs is more homework!
• Even if you don't want to blog yourself, reading them is a great way to keep yourself in the loop. Naturally, I have to recommend HackLibSchool, but In the Library with the Lead Pipe is another excellent blog students would benefit from reading. [SLIS alum Emily Ford (MIS/MLS 2007) is a Lead Pipe author.]
Brianna also works as one of the SLIS Career Analysts, along with fellow SLIS student Brennan Prisk (MIS). The Fall 2012 SLIS Career Services Office hours are:
Monday: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Posted October 09, 2012