My life is about to go crazy. For those of you who don’t know (which, if you’ve met me online at all, is NONE of you) I’m going back to school in the fall after 2 years off to contemplate life, the universe and everything (okay, maybe just MY part of those things). In that time, I’ve built a presence online as best I can, made some incredible friends, and kind of dropped out of the IRL social scene. Reintegrating into “real” society is going to be a major process for me, and that’s something I’d like to have a record of somewhere. And so, “That’s Life” was born – a weekly feature for me to share with you the trials and tribulations of becoming a Music Librarian.
The story so far:
Where does one start if one wants to be a Music Librarian? With research, of course! I decided (after a lot of wishy-washy back and forth) I wanted to pursue this in November 2011, and immediately began to research what schools would allow such a thing. The Music Librarian’s Association website was incredibly helpful – they list all schools that offer anything remotely resembling a Music Librarianship course, along with each school’s requirements and a little explanation on what those requirements mean. It was a LIFESAVER. I could easily find which schools allowed my kind of program and which encouraged it – there is a difference! I quickly narrowed it down to a few top schools, a fairly easy process since there are only 3 in the US that support a fully combined program.
I also made a point of interviewing the head librarian at our University’s music collection. It just so happens that she was once placement officer for the national Music Librarian’s Association and talking to her was a big help! She told me that I’d probably lose almost 50% of my job choices if I only got a Masters of Library Science (MLS) with a music specialization – the way to go was clearly an MLS with a Masters in Music History (MA), and most of the deadlines for those were about a week after I made my decision (EEP!) or had already passed. I tried to apply to the MLS degrees anyway, figuring I could just add a second Masters once I got there. And you know what I got? A whole bunch of rejection. It just didn’t work. The one or two places I did get in I couldn’t afford to go, and the music Masters programs were so competitive I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get in later.
And so, I deferred (Graduate Student applicants: YOU CAN DO THAT! It is not a binary choice of “Accept” or “Decline”!). I spent a year working on my application. I got all of my materials ready as early as possible, and I sent all of them in as close to on-time as I could. There were some bugs, and I honestly think I was rejected at one school because of a computer glitch (my writing sample didn’t upload right, it didn’t tell me, and there was no way to fix it. Really?). But the main thing is that this is a huge “hurry up and wait” game. Nothing happens fast.
The short version? I got into the school I wanted, and I am headed off to begin my career in the fall! I can’t wait to share the experience with you!
Come back next Friday for further adventures in becoming a Librarian!