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What I Gained from Library School

Seeing as how my library school career is almost over I figured I would reflect on what I have gained from my experience:

  • I learned that technology is not frightening and out of reach for me. I took an Information Architecture Class that introduced me to XHTML and CSS and since then I realized that I can actually create web pages and make computers do my bidding. Library School introduced me to a whole new world using emerging technologies and empowered me to create things and learn more.
  • I have gained confidence in my public speaking ability and my teaching skills due to a practicum in which I designed and taught numerous library instruction classes. I can now conduct classes and speak in front of groups with much more ease. I have improved on my presentation skills which will be very useful to me in searching for a job.
  • I have been introduced to the important issues and debates going on in Library Science such as the issue of Open Access or the debate about MARC records. I have a lot more knowledge about the field as well as tools available to me to learn more should I want to.
  • I am much more knowledgeable now about copyright law and fair use. I understand how things like electronic reserves, course packets, and interlibrary loans work in terms of copyright. I also understand about other copyright issues such as fair use or licenses. I think that this is fundamental to any library education.
  • I have gained a strong network of people whom I can contact about various issues that come up later in my career. If I have a question about cataloging I have multiple places to turn. If I need a reference that can vouch for my instruction skills I know people. The relationships that I have built are just as important as the knowledge that I have gained here.

Library school has been a good experience. It has also been productive. I have gained a lot of new knowledge, but I have also grown as a person. I have changed a lot since I have come here to Madison, and for the most part it has been for the better. Even if library school gave me nothing else, it gave me the opportunity to grow into a more complete person.

Andy Burkhardt

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