Hey You MLIS Graduates!

You did it!!  You've got it!  Lotta hard work in back of you. Lotta hard work ahead. But really, it's all good. You are going to be stepping up and out and showing your stuff. Digging into a job - hopefully sooner rather than later. Digging further into learning and networking.  And truly, I hope you'll be showing your stuff to us all.

I'm always inspired by the energy, new passions and thoughtfulness of new librarians. And I want to echo what R. David Lankes wrote to the Syracuse graduates in his recent post: don't wait to break barriers, invent new ways of doing library work good, or pushing the envelope of fantastic.  Leap for it, push for it, do it. Do it now.

We sometimes get lost in the minutiae of our Masters work and easily believe that we aren't really learning anything..."I could teach myself this!" kind of attitude. You get out, get that first professional job and think, "Whoa, I really didn't learn what I needed to know to face this crazy person or this screaming dad!".

But you did learn exactly what you needed to be successful - research skills, problem solving, the big picture of librarianship and it's history, how to learn more on any subject and skill and a critical eye to determine which way is best to go to make libraries more..better...indispensible.  And you did it in that atmosphere of higher learning that surrounded you with mentors, peers and discussions that formed your library worldview.

Now take that knowledge and keep building on it and push ahead and lead now. Don't wait until some old guy like me says, "Well, I think you're ready to be listened to." Go out and grab the brass ring now and shine, shine, shine.

Don't wait for permission - start that blog or tumblr. Leap into Facebook's ALA Think Tank group or Friend Feed's Library Society of the World or Flannel Friday. Start collaborating within Google groups or Twitter. Propose programs. Share thoughts. Pursue big ideas.

Fail. Learn. Try again. Succeed. Fail. Retrack. Tinker. Try again. Succeed. Listen, listen, listen. Learn, learn, learn. And lead and imagine and invent. And then share, share, share.

I am learning so much right now from current MLIS students and shiny new librarians of one, two, three, four and five years experience. After thirty seven years in the biz, you all are rocking my world and keeping me fresh and energized.

So give yourself permission to be that innovator, that mover and shaker and emerging leader. Don't be shy. Step right out, step right up and show your stuff. The library world is waiting for you. And so am I!

Image from Pixabay http://pixabay.com/


  1. Very encouraging, Thank you. I would add: don't be scare of new challenges, don't be scare of change.

  2. During the just-finished school year, I worked side-by-side every Wednesday night with an LIS grad student. I learned many things (and hopefully I taught them a thing or two in return), and I was infected by their contagious enthusiasm for librarianship. Like you, Marge, I've been doing this for a loooooong time. Yet I think right now may be the best time in history to become a librarian (the depressed job market aside). So much exciting progress, change, uncertainity and opportunity in the information world! And I encounter so much talent, energy, and creativity among students at the U of Illinois GSLIS, that I can't help feeling optimistic about the future of our profession.

  3. Thank you for this post. As an MLS student who will likely be graduating in the spring, I can honestly say that I am terrified. This is my second career. When I entered my first career, I already had a fair amount of knowledge and quickly became an expert in my particular area. Looking at less than a year until I enter this second career, I keep feeling as though I should know more about librarianship and everything that I will be expected to do than I do now. This post helped to remind me that I don't need to know everything the moment that I graduate and that's okay. So, I greatly appreciate your post and the encouraging comments.