About three years ago I was riding the bus to work one morning and sitting in front of two guys talking. Normally I’d do my best to ignore their conversation–but sometimes you guys can’t. I don’t know if its subject matter, tone of voice or my own nosiness –but there are some conversations I can’t help but hear. One guy asked the other how his girlfriend was doing. He replied that she was doing great, that she was going to library school.
Let’s back up a second. I should tell you that the year prior to this I was engaged in some major soul searching. I had finished theatre school without much desire to do theatre. I did dramaturgy in college (research for actors and directors)–and that was great. But I didn’t want to be an actor. I toyed with the idea of going to graduate school for theatre history, even for business. For various reasons neither of those scenarios panned out. Here I was, a year out of college. I knew my education was not complete and I knew that the job I had was not the career I wanted. I listened to this guy on the bus share that his girlfriend was in library school and I knew in an instant that I had to go to library school. I wanted to be a librarian.
About a year into college, I received a dramaturgical research assignment for an acting class. I went a bit nuts with the project and really found myself in dramaturgy. I spent a summer at the Goodman Theater working as their dramaturgy intern and continued to do dramaturgy projects throughout college. When I started to consider library school I looked back on my dramaturgy projects and realized I loved them because I loved being at the library. I loved having an information need and meeting that need with the perfect resource. I loved what the library represented to the city and all of the people who came to visit it. The library was knowledge, information, programming, culture and public service all rolled into one package.
I got into a couple of schools, but chose University of North Texas. They had an appealing online program that I felt like I could work with. Like many grad students, I needed to continue working through school. Going online was the best option for me to meet this need and finish school in a reasonable amount of time.
I took two classes a semester, including summers. A year into school I got a part-time job in a children’s library (to fulfill a graduation requirement) and I haven’t left. Earlier this semester I took and passed my end of program exam. On Thursday I turned in my last assignment. Tonight I checked my final grades and I have passed my last two classes. I am done with library school and I have some people to thank.
First, thank you to Carrie Wood, who taught me to write post mortems upon completing milestones. I have to thank my instructors, especially Sharon Almquist (whose online instruction is inspiring) and Elizabeth Figa (who is the best advisor and teacher a girl could ask for). Thank you to my bosses former and current for supporting my dream. Thank you to my friends, for standing by while I took care of business. To my parents for lending an ear all of those times I felt tired or overwhelmed and just needed to say it out loud to someone who cared. Finally, thank you to my husband. You’ve endured so much in the last two years. It would take pages for me to list the things you’ve sacrificed, the chores you’ve taken on and the things you’ve missed out on while I plugged away at school work. I’ll spend the rest of my life believing in your dreams so that you know just how wonderful that feels and how much I thank you.