Apart from the shortness of the days around here, January seems a long way away. But late last night I signed up for my January courses.
The plan is to take four and a third courses. One is in Automation and Systems, which is basically the stuff I’m working with day in and day out here at Prosentient. And I have to take the Management course. I decided to take the 1 credit Risk Assessment course because it’s about insurance and stuff I know little about, and the classes are right at the beginning of the term which means it won’t add to the late-term crunch (and since I’ve taken one 1 credit course already it’d be a waste not to take a couple more). And I’m taking a YA services course, taught by my favourite SLAIS instructor so far.
The big choice I made was in taking another Children’s Literature course instead of Database Design. Technically speaking databases are much more practical. I’ve read kids’ books before and probably don’t need special training in dealing with the literature. But fuck it. I’m working with databases now and for the next six months. I want a course where I get to read good books.
And then I’ll still have 2 1/3 courses left for next summer before I’ll have a degree that says I’m a librarian.
We’ve talked in class about the image of the librarian, which well, whatever. I don’t really care about professionalism and all that bullshit. It reeks of snobbery and hiding behind dehumanizing rules. I do believe in providing the best possible service I can, but on my terms. Whatever. So the question comes up about whether you need the degree to be a librarian. And conversely whether the people with degrees should be on the reference desk or helping fix the printers.
So it’s possible to address this situation and sound a little privileged and snotty about it. The thing I dislike about that Agnostic Maybe article is that somehow helping people damages the professional image of a librarian, since it’s the kind of thing people without an advanced degree could do. Fuck that.
Happily, that post spawned responses, which caused Agnostic Maybe to clarify and sound a bit less like a jerk. But I don’t like the Officers/Enlisted analogy he employs, because nobody likes the officers. The officers are the planning mucky mucks who make the enlisted people’s lives terrible. Why the fuck would I want to be that? The Shelf Check response to that response was also a bit more moderate.
And then I read a bunch of posts about where the value of an MLIS degree is.
So yeah, I pretty much feel like I am a damned fine librarian, with or without this degree I’m buying. I know I need the paper to show that I’m the kind of person who goes to library school, which helps winnow out people who can’t afford library school, keeping the profession middle-class, which is bullshit. My mom doesn’t want to hear me say that I’d be fine with being a library school dropout, but really, I would be. Library school is teaching me that I am a librarian already, regardless of the paper I can tuck in a box somewhere. This also make the whole getting marked on assignments part of school really insignificant, which I like.