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theodidactus

Help a poor fellow out

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Hello everyone! My name is William, I'm currently teaching in Taiwan, but hopefully, I'll be a librarian someday soon. I suppose I'll make this an introductory thread as well.

In college, I bounced from major to major, trying very hard to find a discipline I felt comfortable in. I am in love with knowledge and information, and often obsessively study a particular field for months...the trouble is, some other subject always grabs my attention before I can commit. Currently, I have two jobs where this trait is a virtue, not a vice: I write for a popular trivia book series, and work as a multisubject tutor for college-bound students in Taiwan. Last year, I decided that if I wanted to seriously contribute to the fields I care about, I should enter library school.

I applied to four programs which run the spectrum from elite to middle of the road: Missouri-Columbia, Madison, Mcgill, and Austen. I wanted schools that offered a large selection of different classes, because I am not certain what field I want to focus on (Probably rare books, which is why Austen is up there).

It looks like these schools are still making their decision, naturally, I'm in suspense, as I'm sure you are. However, I am a little concerned:

Apparently the general strategy is to apply to more than four graduate schools. I fear I may have dramatically underestimated how competitive these programs are. I'll admit that I'm a little ignorant of the applications process...about most elements of modern living, really. Could someone a little more "in the know" help me out?

#1: How competitive are my selections. How do their average applicants stack up?

#2: Is it too late to apply to more schools? Are there any with deadlines in March or April?

Thanks for your help.

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I am not applying in the same field, so I don't know about your chances of getting in. Also, I don't think anybody can approximately assess your chances without your profile.. But, why don't you check out various universities and their programs from the US News list and see which ones would still let you apply etc, in case you feel like applying to more programs?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/search.result/program+top-library-information-science-programs/top-library-information-science-programs+y

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thank you

If anyone has a list that actually has the deadlines on it, that would help me out a lot.

It seems that Dominican has a rather late deadline. Perhaps I will make this my fifth program.

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Based on my experience and the people I have spoken to, MLIS programs are not as competitive as other programs out there. As long as you have decent grades/letters of rec/SOP, then you should be able to get into one of the programs that you applied to.

If you feel the need to apply to more programs then keep in mind that the degree is a professional degree, and the consensus among librarians in the field is that it doesn't matter if the degree comes from an elite school or not, so long as that school is accredited by the ALA. Work experience in a library is always more important than where you went to school. The only time that prestige might be an issue is if you think you might want to go into a PhD program later on, or if you want to work in a prestigious college or museum.

I have solicited advice from librarians employed in many different types of libraries and the advice they have given has all been pretty much the same: Go somewhere you can afford because librarian work is low paying and jobs are competitive. You don't want to go into debt because you might have a difficult time paying it off.

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If you feel the need to apply to more programs then keep in mind that the degree is a professional degree, and the consensus among librarians in the field is that it doesn't matter if the degree comes from an elite school or not, so long as that school is accredited by the ALA. Work experience in a library is always more important than where you went to school. The only time that prestige might be an issue is if you think you might want to go into a PhD program later on, or if you want to work in a prestigious college or museum.

I have solicited advice from librarians employed in many different types of libraries and the advice they have given has all been pretty much the same: Go somewhere you can afford because librarian work is low paying and jobs are competitive. You don't want to go into debt because you might have a difficult time paying it off.

Yes, I'd heard about the small differences between the elite and normal schools.

Would like to work at a top of the line museum though, my dream since childhood has been to work at the International Spy Museum in Washington. This is sort of a pipe dream, but I think I can do it.

Based on my experience and the people I have spoken to, MLIS programs are not as competitive as other programs out there. As long as you have decent grades/letters of rec/SOP, then you should be able to get into one of the programs that you applied to.

I imagine I'm the same as everyone else...I've spent the last month worrying that my GPA was too low (3.3) and my Statement of purpose wasn't focused enough (I ramble). This is atypical for me, I'm usually pretty confident that I'll make my way because I have a strange resume...people tend to remember me.

Similarly Different, I think you're following the same career path as me. I also want to eventually attain a double degree in history and library science. What kind of history are you interested in?

Edited by theodidactus

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Funny that you should ask, because like you, my interests wander a LOT. The programs I have applied to are American history, but I think that if I don't get in, I may work on my languages while in an MLIS program and then reapply later to different history programs.

I like the American Gilded Age, European Medieval history, Japanese Waring States era, and the Three Kingdoms period in China. I don't know, I guess I want to be a Jack of all Trades.

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Funny that you should ask, because like you, my interests wander a LOT. The programs I have applied to are American history, but I think that if I don't get in, I may work on my languages while in an MLIS program and then reapply later to different history programs.

I like the American Gilded Age, European Medieval history, Japanese Waring States era, and the Three Kingdoms period in China. I don't know, I guess I want to be a Jack of all Trades.

I think the wandering mind is common to many history majors.

I studied the history of science, physics specifically. In my last year in school, I spent most of my time studying the American, Russian, and Chinese nuclear programs. I got a little dissatisfied with the state of many history graduate programs, so I won't be doing that in graduate school, but I think I want to work for a museum or the US Government. Rare books have also always held an attraction.

Anyway, Library science seemed versatile and exciting, so here I am. Hopefully, I'll hear back soon. Anyone know when schools like Mcgill, Madison, or Austen will be writing back? The sooner I can buy a plane ticket home, the better.

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Well, Mcgill's MLIS department just said they were "recommending me to the graduate committee"

As an eternal pessimist, I still have this feeling that I'll get taken down five yards before the touchdown line...how likely is this nightmare scenario. Mcgill is probably my #1...

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you could also consider archival science if you want to work in a museum or Aberystwyth in Wales, UK does a distance MLIS programme which is highly rated. The Library school is also highly respected. You do have to sepnd one week in a small welsh town but you can do it at your own leisure thereafter I believe

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you could also consider archival science if you want to work in a museum or Aberystwyth in Wales, UK does a distance MLIS programme which is highly rated. The Library school is also highly respected. You do have to sepnd one week in a small welsh town but you can do it at your own leisure thereafter I believe

There are differences between European archival theory and American/Canadian theory. Don't know the effect on the job market but I'd imagine that you'd want your education and experience to reflect the standards/practices in the country you would like to work,

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There are differences between European archival theory and American/Canadian theory. Don't know the effect on the job market but I'd imagine that you'd want your education and experience to reflect the standards/practices in the country you would like to work,

Phyl is right here.

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I imagine so. CILIP and ALA do recognise each other's programmes on the upside. Im probably taking a risk attempting to go to CAnada to do a LIS rather than doing it locally, but that's more so because the main body here likes to support its own I feel (there's really only 1 course here). I've already done US History, being the only one too, when everyone else did Irish and European so I like to think that learning different practices and theory will help me stand out.

It is something that will probably become more standardised in the future though, maybe not anytime soon though

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