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Everything posted by bzrunner2009

  1. Bah, I was finishing the degree when I posted to this forum and forgot that I posted. A full course load is normally 3 credits. My program frowned upon taking 4 credits as it is taking the equivalent of 18 credits. However, this being said, it is completely doable (this includes juggling outside obligations). How long did it take you to complete your degree? It took me two years. I had to do two semesters of 4 credits. Many of peers took classes over summer to avoid a four credit load. What is the best way to get library experience while at school? Internship Process There are many different avenues. Since my focus was public libraries, I actively searched for a job in a public library. This may be a life safer if you are unable to find a job right away, as most on-campus jobs end with graduation. I was also required to complete an internship for one semester. My program had me research potential libraries that I wanted to do an internship and they contacted them for me. I only did one internship, but some people completed 2-3 internships to beef up their resume. If you are lacking experience I would strongly recommend to get as much experience. This include working as a shelver or simply volunteering. Were you able to get a job fairly quickly after you graduated from your program? I was very fortunate to secure employment before I graduated. I started looking and applying for my jobs in my last semester of school. Several friends also secured employment before graduation. However, many of my classmates have been quickly securing jobs this month. How many hours a week did you work in school? My first year I only worked 10-15 hours as a youth associate. My second year in the first semester I worked over 40 hours between my new job and internship. My last semester I only worked 27 hours.
  2. Honestly, I think it is more about how the school will prepare you more than the name of the program. Your experience is going to speak more than what school you attended. I have talked with people who attended the best ranked MLIS program for youth services and they learned the same exact thing as I did. I also talked with someone who attended the school that I turned down, and I actually thought her class selections were better than mine. I guess it is all perspective. However, RelaxBunny has a good point. If you are even thinking about working in the US the ALA-accredited program is huge. Many employers require that the school be accredited.
  3. So here is my two bits. I hope it helps! What was graduate school like for you? I'm going to be blunt. The program is more of a means to an end for me. I am ready for my full-time job and the program is necessary to get to the position. I also have this perspective because I have already been working as a paraprofessional for the past five years. I have talked with people who have little to no library experience and they have seen great value in the program. Was it easy or hard? Did it consume your life? My MLIS program has been relatively easy. I had one class that was fairly difficult, but this was out of the ordinary. I would say the program has way more busy work than anything else. My program really focuses on getting you the experience than the academics. They flat out told us that straights As are pointless if you leave the program with no library experience. How close are/were you with your advisor? Did you get to choose your advisor? I am not particularly close to my advisor. However, I believe this stems from the fact that I seek my advise from previous co-workers already in the field. Did your program require a thesis? If so, was it difficult to write? My program did not! Thank goodness. I got into both of the programs I applied to. One of those required a thesis and the other did not. I opted for the program that did not. This purely came from that I just finished my master thesis for my history MA and did not have the motivation to pull out my toenails again. What were your classmates like? AWESOME! You will never meet such a variety of people. I have met people who have lived very sheltered lives to people who have traveled the world. My curriculum has a LOT of group work. Did you have group work? Did your group members actually pull their weight? OMG, library school LOVES group work. Sometimes I want to slam my head on my desk when I hear about another group project. However, with this being said, I have never really had any problems with my group members. I've gotten pretty lucky that everyone has pulled their own weight. There are still some horror stories where a group member decides to dictate everything. You can normally put these in your evaluations of the group. Most of my instructors frown upon that one Nazi member. Were there any differences between your undergrad experience and your grad school experience? I would almost say they are comparable. The only difference is that you are taking less classes and only meet once a week.
  4. Ok, one more update. My friend told me that Madison tends to be about 10% more expensive than Madison. She also said that if you find an apartment under $800 it is more likely in a sketchy neighborhood. Just a bit more information. Ahh, I love book history/care. I did an internship in my undergrad library and had to do some basic cataloging and research on our rare books collection. I loved that internship. Boston would be awesome! I would love to be next to all that history.
  5. Hey Swils, I found this description comparing the two cities. I think it sums it up perfectly. Milwaukee V.S. Madison Both cities have their adherents and detractors, so you'll have to sift carefully through the info to get a balanced view. In general, from my perspective: Milwaukee is larger and more of a classic city, with the good (cultural amenities, lifestyle choices, high racial/ethnic diversity, etc.) and bad (higher crime, more traffic, etc.) to be expected. Madison is more of a niche city, with the state's flagship university and state government dominating the scene, and with the good (high educational demographics, academic culture, dynamic college life) and bad (less diverse, more homogeneous, etc.) to be expected. Madison's economy is stronger than Milwaukee's, but neither is amazingly strong when compared to other parts of the country: both are still in Wisconsin, and the state has some major economic issues to deal with. Both cities have good singles scenes, though the scene in Milwaukee is larger and more varied. Madison has the state's most acclaimed university (UW-Madison), but Milwaukee has several good colleges and universities (Marquette, UWM, Alverno, etc.). Madison is more uniformly politically liberal than Milwaukee, though Milwaukee has significant liberal, moderate, and conservative populations. You can probably do well in either city, though you should visit them to see which matches your temperament more. Both are very worldly in their special way, and both are provincial in a special way, too. Madison can seem more like an academic or politically liberal bubble, though many non-academics and political mods and cons live there. Milwaukee can seem like a patchwork of bubbles--some white collar, some blue collar, and so on--but many of its people defy the easy categories that others would like to apply. Both are great cities for various reasons, but since I tend to like bigger cities/metros and more cultural/lifestyle options, I prefer Milwaukee. However, others prefer Madison for reasons such as its medium size, its lower crime, its liberal profile, its concentration of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings, and so on." Housing differences between the two seem to be comparable. I think there may be a bit more options in Milwaukee than Madison. I just did an apartment search and found some apartments (not studios!) for around 600. I have already noticed that Madison seems to be VERY pricey. The $600 range gets you 400 sq footage with no bedrooms. Milwaukee has a ton of "villages/towns" stashed in the city. I went to school in the Wauwatosa area. It is an area of Milwaukee that has a suburb-city feeling to it. It was also one of the few areas that had a 24 hour starbucks! If you don't mind commuting there are also TONS of towns around Milwaukee. Milwaukee also has the advantage of being an hour and a half away from Chicago. I guess the location is kind of great. I think I am making myself a little homesick. Swils what was your concentration again and where did you all apply? I would have loved to apply to the East Coast, however I promised my fiance that I would move back to Wisconsin after I was done in Nebraska. We are both homesick. I also miss my dog.
  6. I actually attended my undergrad in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is great! There is a ton of stuff to do there and you will never get bored. I think compared to Madison it might be a tad bit cheaper. The third ward is definitely the more artsy area of Milwaukee. However, there is several areas full of Irish pubs and so forth. I think it offers everyone a little bit of something. On top of that, there is always Summerfeast and the Wisconsin State Fair during the summer. I think my familiarity of Milwaukee adds some weight to the decision. If you have any questions on Milwaukee, feel free to ask. If I don't know, I can ask a sleuth of friends who still reside there. I do like the possibility of moving to a town I have yet to experience. I moved to Nebraska for my masters in history and it was definitely an experience. I think it also helps that any time I mention Madison as an option, everyone absolutely RAVES about it. Several people have already invited themselves to visit me if I choose that path.
  7. If I choose Madison, I will be focusing specifically on their youth services/teen. I would be doing a general degree at Milwaukee. They do not have a program specifically geared towards youth/teen. However, my potential Milwaukee advisor directly deals with children/teen studies. A lot to think about.
  8. So far I am enjoying it. I have heard great things about it, however I have not been blown away by it. I think it is more of a quiet novel. What are your thoughts on 1Q84 by Murukami? I might have to dump all of my books back at the library soon. My thesis has been neglected for too long and I want to graduate this program so I can enter into the next one.
  9. Hey FinaleFile, What is your area of concentration. I only applied to two schools, Madison and Milwaukee, so there is a chance we will bump into each other. I am definitely leaning towards Madison.
  10. I convinced my fiance to take me next week to see it. I'm so excited!!!! I wouldn't worry about reading anything in the field until you get to the school. I tried that with my first masters and it didn't help me with squat.
  11. What about a semi-concrete decision? I'm heavily leaning toward UW-Madison, but I need to make sure my ducks are all in a row.
  12. So...I saw a thread like this happening in the history forum and I thought it would be interesting to start one here, especially since we are all applying to library science schools. What is everyone reading? Lately, I have been sort of ADD in reading but here is my big list When Parents Text: So Much Said...So Little Understood The Night Circus Carry the One The Snow Child All That I Am: A Novel Courtesans: Money, Sex and Fame in the Nineteenth Century The Big Book of Pain and Torture: Torture and Punishment Through History
  13. I'm actually planning on working while in school. I received my first acceptance today (I only applied to two programs and they have been taking FOREVER to get back on decisions) and have already started scouting the area for jobs related to the library science field. I would almost prefer to work off campus as the pay is much better. I am not worried about juggling the course load while working. I'm currently working on my masters in history and have worked part-time (full-time at some points) at a local library for almost the past two years. I managed. I figured that library science will be about the same intensity or less according to some of my co-workers. I'm not holding my breathe for funding (ok, maybe a little bit. Anything would be greatly appreciated). I knew that funding for history master students was limited, so I figured that funding for library science was even more limited.
  14. I don't know which is worst. Email or snail mail. Every time my email bings I quickly check it only to be disappointed.
  15. Lol, yes. I think my first semester was the hardest as I struggled with imposer syndrome for the first two weeks. I also realized that the thinking level at the masters level was another whole playing field (I know... my durp moment).
  16. I do agree that the first year is a bit bumpy but the second year you know what to expect. I think this was reflected in this year's grades. I KILLED on my fall semester 2011 grades. I was pulling a 12 credit load (3 graduate courses and 1 language course) and working on the outside. I believe that if anyone ever doubts my capabilities that my Fall 2011 semester is redeem worthy.
  17. Yes, I was. In also fair respects, the professor I was taking really challenged my thought process. She forced to me to look at my writing and how I approached readings in 20th century American History. With a full course load and working outside of the school, I was proud of that B+.
  18. I have been working part-time (almost full-time in some months) while getting a masters in history. Some semesters were tougher than others while other times it was blessing in disguise. I like that I have a life outside of academics and it is almost a destresser to interact with people not immersed in the academic world. The money isn't too shabby either. In relation to grades, you can still maintain good grades. I have only received one B+ in the last three semesters, so it is very doable. I also believe it has kept me grounded. In my undergraduate career, I would FREAK about getting anything lower than an A. I now realize that world is not going to stop moving if I do not maintain a perfect GPA.
  19. WashU has a program specifically for American Culture Studies and a PHD certificate in American Culture.
  20. Ok, I'm really taking everything to heart, but I'm going to admit that I'm becoming very torn. I should probably add in some factors that I've have been weighing in when I register for classes. When it comes to reading load, I'm not too concerned. I am an avid reader and definitely not a slow one. My current job is a youth services clerk at my local library, and I can normally pump out 3-4 books a week, if not more. Many of these books tend to be non-fiction with some light reading mixed in. I can understand the emphasis on the writing load, especially if I have three 20-30 page papers due at the end. Again, this is not terrifying to me. During my undergrad years, I was used to a minimum of two large term papers due at the end of the semester, many times with them due back to back. I'm pretty sure I will be crying when the time comes, but I have done it many times in the past and survived. I actually do very well under pressure. I am not working my first semester (I've been putting quite a bit of money aside so I would not have too for the first semester), so this definitely frees up some time. At the moment it looks like I will just be taking classes. For me that is a LOT of free time. I'm used to my schedule filled up with extra-curricular activities and work. I have come two options that I thought might help. I thought that I could email some current students in the department and inquire about particular classes/professors to get a feel for what to expect. I also thought I could attempt the the 3 grad classes with my language and see how I feel after two weeks. If I'm already overwhelmed drop a class. What about some thoughts on these ideas?
  21. Thank you everyone! I am definitely taking everything to heart.
  22. I was hoping that some current grad students could help me out with this one. I will be entering into a history MA program this fall and have been looking at my potential course load. From my understanding, the school's maximum credit load for a graduate student is 15 credits. My friend told me to take no more than 9 credits, but here is where it gets sticky. I kind of screwed myself over by not taking a language during my undergrad (my school was a small, private school and only offered two languages, which neither held my interest), so now I must take a language in addition to my graduate courses. The language course is 5 credits alone while my grad courses will be 3 credits each. My advisor said that I should do 3 graduate courses and my language course. She also recommends that I take my language during the summer, but this will not be possible until the summer of 2011. I am used to tackling heavy loads, especially since I did it quite a bit during my undergrad years, but I also know that graduate school is another whole ball game. I was hoping I could get some advice on this one.
  23. I need some help. I've been admitted into my second choice school (no funding ), but am still waiting to hear back from my third choice, George Mason. Apparently their deadline for their history graduate program is April 15, the official school acceptance day. My dilemma is what if I accept my second choice school, only to hear back from George Mason and I have received funding? I need some advice.
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