So imagine my surprise when I found out this week that my library school wasn’t even in the top 20. Boy how it has failed me.
Since I like to take on all of the hard topics of librarianship (LOL), I’m going to have to take this opportunity to blog about the library school rankings that came out last week. I have so many thoughts on this, but first and foremost, I hope that people take other things into consideration than a US News ranking for *any* school that you are applying to. But, let’s cut to the chase.
1. It does not matter what library school you went to. It matters what you do with it after. You’re going to learn about 10 trillion times more at your first job than you did in library school. I promise. And you’re going to say to yourself: WHY DIDN’T THEY TEACH ME THAT?
2. While in *whatever* library school you’re in, begin to network. If you can join our major associations at the much, much cheaper student rate and get involved, that will pay dividends over paying out of state tuition for a degree. Honestly. I became involved in the ALA New Members Roundtable and the people I served on that group with are serious rockstars now and I choose to believe it wasn’t because of where they got their degrees, but their individual drive and initiative.
3. Think really seriously before attending one of the “best” library schools, especially if you’re paying out of state tuition. I will never forget how one of my bosses once bragged about how awesome his library school was ranked and one day I finally said, and mine is right there in the middle, completely average, and I did half of my classes online, and look here! We both work at this same college now and have the same faculty rank.
4. This is library school, not your History PhD. Not to belittle our degrees, but I’m sure most of you have heard them called “union cards.” They are. But my point is, you have a great chance of getting a job if you went to the number ten school (good as any), where you pretty much need your PhD in History from an Ivy League school for a tenure-track job.
5. The best thing to do is get real life library experience while you’re in school. If I’m looking at a stack of CVs from new grads and one went to the number one school and one went to the number 20 school, but #20 has experience? Hands down, I talk to 20 first.
So, I guess I’d like to tell the current library school students that if maybe you too weren’t even on that first page, don’t sweat it because maybe you can still be a library director someday.