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What classes do you have to take in a library science masters program? And what does the daily life of a librarian look like?

I'm currently in my senior year of high school, so I know I have a while before I'll get to graduate school, but I want to be prepared! I want to be a public librarian, specifically a children's librarian if possible.

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Drew’s Answer

Aloha :) It's awesome that you're already thinking about advanced studies! I don't have a degree in Library Science, but I am a certified Knowledge Manager and completed the coursework for Masters in environmental engineering. Post bachelor degrees are for diving deeply into a topic and adding to the body of knowledge. Course work often supports the research activity; for example, classes in data science and statistics are common because research often involves data collection and analysis. You need to really love your major in undergrad if you want to do something rewarding in graduate school. For library science, it seems like you would select an area like Taxonomy and get into the guts of it ... apply a theory ... build some machine learning or artificial intelligence around it so that you are supporting your overall objective of helping children connect to stories that make their lives better in some way. There are a lot of areas where it seems like you could take things with these ideas. The good thing is that you are mindful and paying attention to where interests could go and as your studies progress you will see lots of opportunities. Follow your passion for serving through Library Science, and your heart will guide you to success and satisfaction.
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Sarah’s Answer

Hello Ainsley,

For eight wonderful years, I had the privilege of working as a children's librarian, and I can't stress enough what an amazing field it is! My Master's degree journey was enriched by several beneficial courses, including Storytelling, Collection Development, Children's Literature, Young Adult Literature, and Cataloging. You'll find that Cataloging and Collection Development are typically mandatory, but there's also a wide array of elective courses to choose from. I found the Storytelling course to be incredibly rewarding, as it significantly bolstered my storytelling abilities.

One of the joys of being a librarian is that each day brings something new, keeping the role exciting and dynamic. Your time will be filled with a variety of tasks such as answering inquiries at the public service desk, ordering books, planning engaging programs, collaborating with your team, and hosting events like storytime. Every day is unique, making time management and the ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously invaluable skills in this role.

To prepare for your future as a children's librarian, I highly recommend immersing yourself in children's and young adult literature starting now. This will prove beneficial when patrons approach you for book recommendations of all kinds. A broad understanding of various genres will be a tremendous asset.

I wholeheartedly wish you the absolute best in your journey!
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Ainsley!

Since you've found a passion that you want to pursue in grad school, you can choose any undergrad degree you want!
Many grad schools accept students from a variety of backgrounds - humanities, social sciences, fine arts, law, business, education, and STEM.
You can pick a degree that would give you relevant coursework with learning librarianship skills.

What matters the most when you apply to grad school is:
- Job experience. This is very key!
- Your Personal Statement. A document of your goals, intentions, and experiences you'll write for your application.
- Leadership experience in extracurriculars, organizations, or clubs.

See if you can work part-time at your campus library. You'll get hands on experience working at a library (and you'll likely have quiet time to study/do homework as well!)

Some ways you could demonstrate leadership experience is by joining the executive board for a club you enjoy, or start your own club on campus.

Wishing you the best on your journey to public librarianship :)
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