Friday, January 22, 2016

No Storytime Today!

I should be doing storytime right about now, but thanks to the big storm hitting our area today both the daycare I was supposed to visit and the library are closed.  In fact, I haven't done a storytime all week, which feels really strange now that I'm used to doing 15 a week!  Monday was a holiday, then Tuesday I had a pair of volunteers who prefer to work together covering it [normally it is me and one volunteer, but we have a couple of pairs left from when the program was all volunteer] so I worked in the building, then Wednesday it was cancelled because of snow as well.  Ironically, the theme this week was to have been "Snow".

So thanks to "Snowpocalypse 2016", I am resigned to being snowed in for a couple of days.  We have plenty of bread, milk, and toilet paper in the house, and other food as well.  I have more than enough to keep me busy with a stack of books to read and review, and of course I could always do housework.  But, my biggest task will be to write a graduate admissions essay!

Yes, I have actually decided to bite the bullet and apply to library school to get an MLIS!  I have felt for the last two years that I had missed my calling as a children's librarian, but thought it was too late.  I had previously looked into getting my MLIS at the library school in my area, but the tuition was way too high.  I just couldn't afford it and didn't feel it was worth investing $25,000 in a degree considering in reality it might never pay off because of the over-saturated job market here (relocating is not an option, at least for now) and my age.  I likely wouldn't live long enough to ever see the title of "Librarian" after my name.  Plus, I didn't care for the curriculum.  It did not seem very practical or flexible, with so many required courses, almost no electives, and very heavy on theory and tech and little on practical skills needed day-to-day working in a public library.  So I resigned myself to being a paraprofessional, and I was pretty okay with that.

So, what changed my mind?  First off, I suddenly realized that when my husband retires, we will lose our health insurance, so I will really need to have some kind of full-time job with benefits by then.  Second, I had planned on taking at least a couple of classes in library science anyway so I could qualify for state paraprofessional library certification.  Then, I just happened to find out about an MLIS program in another state that is almost half the cost of the one here.  It is all online (aside from an initial in-person orientation), ALA accredited, and the curriculum is much more practical and flexible than the one here.  So, I started re-considering, and after looking at how much money I've been able to save since my promotion last summer, I realized I could afford it if I just take 1 class each semester, including summers.  At that rate I would graduate in December of 2020, which is still a few years before my husband plans to retire.

I am realistic; I do know that getting a full-time professional librarian position would be a very long shot at the system where I'm currently employed.  But there are at least 4 other county libraries within a 30-minute drive of where I live now, and I would be fine with any other full-time position, such as a children's assistant, programming specialist, outreach, etc.   Once my husband retires, relocating is an option as well, and I would not be opposed to moving somewhere that others might consider "less desirable" in order to get a full-time professional position.

But first, I have to get this darn essay written and all my other application materials submitted, and get accepted.  Wish me luck!!

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