to be or not to be…
I’m considering applying for the School Library Media Program, as well as getting my Youth Services Specialized Study Certificate. I feel excited, scared, nervous, etc. etc. etc. after reading all of the information about the program. I started out as an English Education major in my undergrad, but realized that wasn’t for me…however, I still want to teach and promote literacy and do fun library activities with children/young adults! I guess I just don’t know if I want to do that in a public library setting, or a school setting.
I definitely need to meet with an advisor, ASAP!
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
The understanding I got in library school was that going into school library certification meant that, pros:
- you’d be almost guaranteed a job (this is true for MA, but not for states that value education less or have bigger budget woes)
- you’d have a really specific skill set and get to study in depth
- your certification (for our SLT program, at least) worked only for our state, though it was helpful elsewhere
- you’d have no space in your schedule to get “well-rounded” in library school — so you’d be pretty much betting you’d go into school libraries or public libraries working with kids and YA. There’s no time (with our program) to cram in an extra tech class or a course focusing on academic libraries, for instance.
I ultimately decided against it, especially since I don’t plan to live in Massachusetts forever. I took a YA lit class, a children’s lit class, and a course on underserved populations (with an emphasis on literacy) while in library school instead, to try to hit some of the same points. Last winter, I landed a school library teacher interview at a charter school that didn’t require certification. So it’s possible. Then again, I didn’t get the job, but it was also probably the worst fit I’ve ever had at a library interview.
So, basically, I’d say, talk to your advisor (of course and always!), decide how committed you are to the speciality, maybe start out with a couple courses that fulfill both general and school requirements if possible, and take it from there.
What say the rest of y’all?
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