10 Reasons I Chose to Study Library Science

10 Reasons I Chose to Study Library Science

It's not about the money. It's about the books.

1. I love books.

If you know me, this should not come as a surprise. Not only do I love to read books, I love writing them as well. I still plan on pursuing an MFA in writing in addition to library science when I start grad school, but not everyone is JK Rowling. Miraculously, I could publish a book, only that does not mean it will sell well enough that I won’t ever have to work again. Regardless, I still want to make books a part of my career.

2. Casual dress code.

At Macy’s, I had a uniform that involved black trousers and uncomfortable black shoes. I didn’t like it. When I worked at my school library and at the Boston Public Library, the dress code was casual. Obviously, yoga pants wouldn’t be appropriate, but not everyone is expected to show up in a suit and tie. That’s really what I want.

3. There is more than what you see on the surface.

My guess, most people only think of libraries as what they see on the surface: a place to read and study with free Wi-Fi. Libraries are that, but there is more going on behind the scenes. When I worked at the Boston Public Library, I saw all the rare books and manuscripts in the archives department, and all the work that went into their care. There are also the preservation of the books and the digital archives. There are people who catalog new books for the library and buy books for them. I could go on. I want to learn everything.

4. Working with different types of people.

Regardless of what kind of field you go into, you will have to work with people. I like people and can generally get along with anyone; I just don’t like the public. If you have worked any kind of retail, you know what I’m talking about. But working in a library setting, you meet people from different backgrounds with different experiences. And, more often than not, they have some great stories to tell.

5. Free services to the public, especially those who need it most.

Ignoring what I said in the last paragraph about disliking the public, libraries are still a great resource to those in need. Children whose parents can’t afford to buy DVDs and books can get them for free from the library. Computers are available to those who can’t afford the latest MAC or PC. Despite my overall social awkwardness, I do like helping people and I want to work for an institution, like a library, that supports those values.

6. Libraries are a safe haven.

There are fewer places that I ever felt safer in than a library. Even where I live now, which has a reputation of not being very safe and kind of crummy overall, the local library gives off a feeling of coziness and security. Libraries are a place I could read my book and write in peace. For many people, especially kids, libraries are a safe haven with books and activities.

7. I believe in the institution of free reading.

My motto has always been read whatever the hell you want. I am 24, going on 25, and I still read books meant for teenagers. I read them because they are fun, as well as to learn how to write novels for that particular audience. When governments and overprotective parents try to censor what people read or make libraries take certain books off their shelves, it really makes me mad. If you don’t want to read a book, either for religious or other personal reasons, that is your right; no one has the right to tell others what they can or cannot read.

8. More than one project at a time, but never a dull moment.

As a librarian, you have more than one responsibility. I’m organized to a fault and I keep track of my assignments with a to-do list. Keeping busy at work keeps my brain as active as possible, saving me from turning into a work zombie.

9. Laid-back environment.

Libraries generally have a laid-back environment, despite my previous comment about it always being busy. People are there because they want to work there, not just because it was a “safe” job with good benefits.

10. You never stop learning.

I am a lifelong student — I want to keep learning, and reading and writing, as much as I can.

Cover Image Credit: Jillian DeSousa

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How Speed Dating Helped Me In A Class Where I Knew No One

In most classes, the first day (or few days) is mainly for reviewing and studying the syllabus, but clearly my professor had something a little bit more untraditional in mind.

Upon the beginning of a new semester, the start of new classes means there are a lot of new people to meet.

At my university in particular, our community is huge (40,000 undergrad), and we all have had many enormous lecture halls where it is basically impossible to get to know every single person in the room. However, there are certain classes where the amount of students is significantly downsized, and different types of students will have different reactions to this.

When I arrived on my first day of English-15 class (the required English class for every student in attendance at the university), the initial moments were awkward and somewhat nerve-racking. As I sat in my seat surrounded by 22 unknown faces, my professor instructed that we were going to play a game. In most classes, the first day (or few days) is mainly for reviewing and studying the syllabus, but clearly my professor had something a little bit more untraditional in mind.

My professor then said that we were going to be “speed-dating” with others in our class. I had always thought that the term “speed-dating” was to be used in a romantic sense only, and in my eyes, the classroom was not the appropriate place for this. As we were quickly organized to sit face-to-face with complete strangers, I was all of a sudden intrigued.

For twelve rounds, we were given about three minutes to talk to each of our classmates. While about half of the time allotted was filled by obligatory small-talk (i.e. where the other person is from, what they plan to study, how old they are), the other half of each conversation continually turned into something different each time I spoke with someone new.

I talked about many different topics of varying importance and seriousness, but the interesting part was that I created these conversations with people I had never even seen prior to the start of class that day.

Although it was nine o’clock in the morning and I would have usually left class feeling sleepier than when I arrived, this first day of class was far from what I expected and I felt energized by the end of it. Although it was difficult to keep track of what I talked about and with whom I talked about it, speed dating largely improved the dynamic of the classroom and made the situation a lot less awkward than most first-day-experiences I had previously been a part of.

Although talking to strangers has its way of making some people feel initially uncomfortable, it really is the most efficient way to break the ice among students.

As educators of all different levels are actively creating new teaching methods for this generation of students, being a student myself, I feel as though the beginning of academic success begins with comfort inside of the classroom. Although the terms “speed-dating” and “learning” don’t traditionally go together in an academic sense, they helped create a pleasant environment in our classroom that will ultimately motivate me to feel comfortable around my peers and my professor alike.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Rented My Textbooks From Chegg And I Saved Hundreds

Say Goodbye to overpriced books, and say hello to cheap ones!

Textbooks have to be one of the worst parts of college. I love to learn, I love my classes, but I hate the textbooks that come with them. It has nothing to do with the content, but the price tag.

In college, you pay a ridiculous amount of money for textbooks because professors either have you buy the newest edition where there isn't a rental or used book to purchase, they make it available only in an E-book format, or they have you buy the textbook that comes with an additional $100 access code just so you can do your homework. It's stressful and ridiculous and I always find myself spending over $200 for textbooks each semester. Yeah, not per year, per SEMESTER.

This semester, I decided to take a little more action when it came to my books. Instead of ordering my books through the school bookstore, I did some research. I tried Amazon, but they were about the same price as the bookstore if not more at times.

So, I scratched that off my list. Then, I turned to buying used books from other students. It worked with a couple books, but a lot of people didn't have the version of the book I was looking for or were also selling it for a ridiculous price. With only two of the six textbooks I needed in hand, I was at a loss for what to do next. Then, I heard about this website called Chegg. I actually stumbled upon it while looking on Pinterest for "Cheap College Textbooks." I had always heard of Chegg, but I always figured it was too complicated and chose to never use it.

Let me tell you, that was stupid. I looked up the three books I needed and the total price for the three of them had my jaw dropping. My total came out to $85, which was the price of just one of my books at the bookstore.

Below my total, Chegg told me I was saving over $200. Can you believe that?! On top of that? They also offered me free shipping and it would be in my hands in 2-3 days. Also, instead of having to return my books the last week of school, I had a whole extra month to do it. I mean, I probably won't need that long, but hey, life happens sometimes and you forget!

They also send you a label to print off and you just have to pack the books up and ship them off! No return lines, no waiting, just returning your books on your own time.

There are also many other features to Chegg that include free E-books of the textbook you just rented, study tips, and lessons that go along with the books you rented. It really helps when it comes time for homework and tests!

There is a Chegg App that you can download to keep track of your orders and you can also use it for some of these features and to sell some of your own books that you might have!

One last thing that made me just fall in love with Chegg is that when I opened my box, it had a bunch of free goodies inside! There was a sample bag of tide pods, a coupon for MORE tide pods (I can never get enough of those honestly), gum, some coupons and even some gift cards that could be used for cute things for my room and also for some meals! It was just a really nice thing to find because it made me feel like more than just a college student trying to get cheap books.

It actually made me feel like a real person. That may sound odd, but it's true! By them just putting in something extra in my box, it helped eased my stress and mind about all the book troubles I had and it showed me that the people who work at Chegg actually care. They could have just sent my rental books, but they took the extra mile, and I think that's what every textbook rental place should be doing. I ordered my textbooks from Chegg and I'm telling you, I'm never using any other rental place.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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