This week I started my last full semester of library school. Because of how things fell, I will still have a project to complete over the summer, but this will be the last classes that I take toward an MLS. It’s hard to believe I’m so close to being done! Well, the calendar may say it’s fairly close, but there is still a lot of work to do and things to learn. Here is an overview of the last two classes I am taking.
Multiple Literacies in Libraries
If you look at the sidebar of this blog post, you’ll see in the Goodreads currently reading widget that I am reading a book called Metaliteracy. I think that word would make a better title for this class than “Multiple Literacies in Libraries,” but who knows if I will still think so after taking the course. The introduction of the textbook describes metaliteracy as an overarching framework for understanding all of the other “literacies” that exist in the library setting. These include digital literacy, health information literacy, mobile technology literacy, and much more. It’s looking at how people learn and understand the information that they encounter in light of the “decentered social network” that the library inhabits.
Before classes started this week, I did not have any real idea what this class would be about. Now that I have read the introductory material I am excited about it. I actually expected more of this high-level sort of instruction in this degree program, so I am looking forward to digging into it. I’ll be honest that I am not thrilled about the synchronous discussion circles that are apparently going to be a part of the class, but the topic and content appear challenging and interesting.
Collection Development & Management
Collection development refers to the process of selecting what items to have in the library, and collection development is the long-term implementation that deals with how to grow and adjust the collection as needed, for example through withdrawing texts that no longer serve the purpose of the library (like a grimy old book that no one checks out anymore, or an ACT prep course which has been superseded by a more recent edition). Compared to the other class I am taking, this one is much more tangible and practical. It’s also something that I am already familiar with. Although the library that I work for has a dedicated collection development department with librarians who select books for the entire system and keep track of big-picture statistics, my job also plays a role in evaluating the local collection day-to-day. Because of this, I’ve already had internal trainings on collection development. Most, if not quite all, of the introductory material to this course covered information and the beginnings of theory that I have previously been exposed to. Hopefully having this foundation will make the course easy to connect to my daily life.
Because one class is entirely theory-based and the other mostly skills-oriented, I think that taking them at the same time will be a nice balance. Also, both courses are (unintentionally) with the same professor, and I appreciate that I only have to learn one teaching style this semester. I just hope that I don’t get assignments confused from one class to the other!
What are you learning this season, whether formally or not?
Until the next chapter,