Read All the Things or: Over-preparing for Library School

Now that I’ve finally made a decision about what to do and where to go to get my MLIS, I’ve once again entered full panic mode, albeit this time in a different direction. I honestly considered printing off the student handbook to read and highlight the whole thing – how much of a dweeb am I? But I’ve also been hoping to get some good summer reading in so that I don’t feel totally lost at sea during my first classes, mostly inspired by this post at hls (which I also read obsessively). Here’s what I have so far:

I lifted The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown from Christina’s list. I’m not usually much of a self-help reader, but perhaps branching out will lead me to something useful. Also, my library happened to have a copy, so it turned out to be convenient to pick up.

I knew I had to add Ann Cvetkovitch’s Archive of Feelings to my list after reading Sadler and Bourg’s awesome article “Feminism and the Future of Library Discovery,” which I would absolutely recommend as immediate required reading – feminist evaluations of libraries! Be still my beating heart. Anyway, as a possible archivist, I’m fascinated by the ways that trauma and oppression affect our collections – how do we incorporate the very real feelings that accompany an archive into our presentation, evaluation, and understanding of them? I’m hoping this book will provide a good forum for thinking about some of these issues.

I also stumbled upon Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums during some other poking around on the internet – I’ve honestly forgotten what even lead me there, but I somehow started reading about tribal libraries and archives. I’ve often thought about the issue of Native American artifacts in outside museums and archives and all the issues that go along with taking materials from a marginalized culture and presenting them as our own, but I am so shortsighted that I hadn’t really thought about the institutions that belong to these cultures. I’m excited and fascinated to read about how these organizations are serving native communities.

So these are the library/career related books I’m planning to read this summer so far – I’m hesitant to pick any more because I can kind of be a slow reader and I’d also like to leave room for the fun stuff. If I surprise myself, I might peruse something else from this list that Christina linked to – bless hls and their enabling of my obsessive reading. Thinking about returning to school has also made me nostalgic for my English major days, so I might read along with some of Yale’s Open Courses on literature. I’ve been saying I would do this for years, though, so I’m not gonna hold my breath.

If any of you are in the same boat and have summer reading plans, I would love to hear about it. If you’ve been in the boat before and have some recommended reading, send that stuff my way. Encouragement, challenges, cries of frustration, and impassioned arguments are always welcome in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Read All the Things or: Over-preparing for Library School

  1. I just stumbled across your blog! I’m just about to begin my MSc in LIS by distance learning (so scared), and also I work at the British Library as a Reference Librarian – nice picture in the foyer. It’ll be nice to see how you progress on your course and maybe compare it to the one I’m doing in the UK.


    1. WOWIE, you’re only just getting your degree and you pretty much already have my dream job! Congrats on getting to work at a beautiful library. I know the degree fear – let’s commiserate together, feel free to shoot me a message any time. I requested access to your blog whenever you get around to it. 🙂


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