Colleagues as Resources: Making Connections in Library School
Over the course of one day and without leaving my apartment, I have pooled knowledge with three friends in my program. This fact exemplifies a phenomenon I’m become increasingly conscious of: My library school friends know a lot and are always willing to supplement whatever skill set I may be lacking in. The opposite holds true, I like to think, when my colleagues seek assistance from me in an area where I have shown particular strength.
Today’s first exchange was simple and informational in nature; I needed to know whether our college library computers have Dreamweaver installed on them. The library opened late today in observance of Veteran’s Day, but I wanted to get an answer early so I could determine whether to plan a trek to campus. I texted a fellow GSLIS student who works in the college library, had an answer within minutes, and was able to schedule the rest of my day accordingly.
The second instance of collaboration was motivated by the fact that I have unwittingly gained popularity as the “EAD person” among my core group of friends. A number of those individuals are in the throes of Simmons GSLIS archives program’s infamous EAD assignment. One friend noticed that I was signed into Google Chat and approached me with a tough one regarding files at <c03> within a series (<c02>) that spanned multiple boxes. She’d expressed <container> in <c02>. Together we worked out that she needed to move <container> to <c03>, and all was happy in EAD Land once again!
The final episode in today’s Saga of Library Student Cooperation involved another “techie” archives student and I coming together to discuss ways to gear the MLIS program & archives concentration toward our specific strengths and interests. We met just this weekend at a workshop and plan to foster a collaborative effort to get the most we can out of our time at GSLIS.
As Fall 2012 wraps up and I prepare to embark upon my final semester at GSLIS in the Spring, I am looking to the future and wondering what my professional network is going to look like down the road. I like to think that many of the connections my friends and I are forging in library school are going to remain strong. I hope to be on call for EAD and social media questions, and as importantly I hope to call upon, for example, my digital curation friend and my outreach friend as my needs for supplement in those arise. Though the reality of competing against one another for positions is ever-present, overall my library school colleagues and I have managed to focus on what will matter in long term: We have a diverse skill set that is best utilized when shared.