Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Paying It Forward, Paying Back

"Pay It Forward," by Eli Christman, is a CC Licensed photo.

I've long been frustrated with the disparity between what some library science graduate programs teach and what I do at work every day. In fact, this blog is an attempt to fill in that gap. I love my profession, so I want to give back to it. More to the point of this post, this blog is the main way repay the debt I owe to the two directors with whom I worked early on in my career - my way to "pay it forward."

Over the last few months, though, I've found a more direct way to pay it forward. You see, a couple of former students of mine have decided to pursue an MLIS. In one case, the student went to a school out of state. I happen to know a couple of people who teach where he went, so I made sure to introduce them. In the other case, she's going to graduate school nearby but has secured an internship in another part of the country. What was the first thing I did when she told me about the internship? I shot emails to a few librarians I know who live near where she'll be interning, asking and receiving permission to share their email addresses with her. In both cases, both cases, the students were appreciative. In the most recent incident, the librarians to whom I introduced my former student were thrilled to be asked.

It's just a small thing, but it feels important, so I wanted to hear what you all think/do along these same lines. For those of you reading this who are already working in libraries, what do you do to help newbs? And for those of you who are new to libr*, what kinds of things do you wish we would do?

1 comment:

  1. The local library school here organizes Partner's Week - each term MLIS students have a chance to visit various local libraries to meet with staff, get a tour and ask questions. This is done on the students' own time and is up to them to schedule. They choose a library/librarian to visit from a list of volunteers. Sometimes individual librarians volunteer, and sometime the whole staff will make themselves available for "coffee and cookies" to chat to the student. It's a great way to get library students out in the field to learn about various libraries and roles, and to network with established librarian.

    When I was in library school I participated in Partners Week, and now I am a librarian at the library I visited. That's libraryland full circle!