Homework already and some thoughts on jobs

posted Sep 5, 2011, 9:15 AM by jj pionke
Classes don't start until tomorrow but many of my courses have already posted reading assignments that are due on the first day of class on ctools, the course management system here at the University of Michigan.  The most interesting readings so far have been the PDFs and links for SI 581: Preservation Administration.  581 is a 7 week course and is worth 1.5 credits rather than the full 3 that the 14 week courses are worth.  There are several 1.5 credit courses that are offered in the School of Information, I think in part because the information is valuable but at the same time, there isn't necessarily enough of it to warrant a full 14 weeks of instruction.  I added 581 kind of on a whim.  

One of the things that happened to me consistently before school started was that I landed up talking to far more Archives and Records Management (ARM) folks than I did Library and Information Science (LIS) folks.  In fact, I talked to them so much that I am not curious about ARM.  My path is pretty firmly set towards academic librarianship, but where I land up there is still up for grabs and I think that perhaps adding an ARM secondary specialization might benefit me in the job search.  I intend to talk to one of the career counselors in two weeks to further discuss how different secondary specializations will assist or hurt my chances for a job after I graduate.

I'm very very motivated to get a job and I know the competition will be incredibly fierce.  I know that many of my fellow students in this program already have specific goals in mind, some of them know they want to work in the Vatican or for Google or Apple.  I am not sure who I might want to work for, but I should probably start thinking about that so I can better guide my class choices in directions that will get me that job.  Which brings us back to homework.  Obviously, doing it is a necessity, but more, I am enjoying the homework I have so far and I take that as a positive sign that coming here and entering into this different career path is the right decision for me.

Some of you may be curious what I had to read that piqued my interest for 581.  The required reading for this Wednesday's class included the ALA preservation guidelines, a report on the state and preservation of cultural heritage items, and a conference paper on the history and needs of preservation.  Though pretty much all of these documents are now about 10 years old, I think they are still relevant and with the economic crash of the last several years, I am sure that preservation of materials has taken a back burner in comparison to other needs like say keeping the lights on and payroll.  I am sure that I will be posting more about this stuff as the course progresses.