GSLIS WTF GTFO: Courses They Should Actually Offer in Library School

Unbelievably, I’m fast approaching my one-year anniversary of working at Mt. Pleasant Library and I love it here, but every single day I am reminded multiple times a day of just how little graduate school prepared me for literally anything I do as a librarian. And considering the fact that pursuing my MLS (is it even an MLS? Is it an MLIS? I don’t even know) took two years and a boatload of money, that’s a damn shame.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of amazing blogs and boards out there to help supplement and subdue the shock of entering a profession very in debt and very unprepared (like Achieve Every Goal Always Forever in Three Easy Steps and Letters to a Young Librarian).

However, I am not yet at the point where I can provide such wisdom. Someday, maybe! But for now, I can mostly just provide sarcasm. So if I were to become the new head of URI’s GSLIS program, these are the courses I would want to be offered.

Actual Reading Interests of Children I: Legos, Princesses, Spongebob, and Pokemon

Actual Reading Interests of Children II: Just Buy Every Single Diary of a Wimpy Kid Read-Alike You Can Find

Actual Reading Interests of Young Adults I: Angst, Angst, Distopian Angst.

Actual Reading Interests of Young Adults II: No, the Fault In Our Stars is Checked Out and There Is a 2 Month Waiting List for It and Everything Else Written By John Green, But Here Are Some Similar Titles You Might Enjoy Instead.

Reader’s Advisory Skills 101:

Excerpts from course *
Scenario 1
Librarian: “Do you like to read?”
Kid: “Yes.”
Librarian: “Great! What’s something you’ve read recently that you enjoyed, and what did you like about it?”

Scenario 2
Librarian: “Do you like to read?”
Kid: “No.”
Librarian: “No worries! What’s something you like to do for fun?”

This is actually the whole course.

Reader’s Advisory Skills 102, Following Up: “Did you like it? Oh, it sucked? That’s okay, I didn’t write it so I’m not offended, just tell me what you didn’t like about it and we’ll find you something less lame.”

Reader’s Advisory Skills 103, Online Resources: Goodreads, Pinterest, and Amazon are a Gift from The Universe And You Should Praise Them As Such Every Damn Day

Youth Culture 101, Linguistics: How to Tell if a Teen is Secretly Cursing You Out

Youth Culture 102, Relevant References: Know Your Viral Vines and Popular Youtube Channels

Youth Culture 103, Computer Games: How To Help Your Computer Recover if Roblox, Halo, or Minecraft Cause It to Crash

Sweatin’ to the Oldies: Making the Most out of the Stupid Summer Reading Theme a Bunch of Old People Picked Out for You and Your Kids

That’s Very Pinteresting: Inspiration and DIY Ideas for Programming, Decor, Displays, and Collection Development Because Why Reinvent the Wheel?

Budgeting 101: Swallowing Your Pride and Crushing Your Dreams In One Fell Swoop

Pushing the Envelope: When That Envelope Is Full of Pennies and That’s Your Programming Budget for the Year

Getting Blood from a Stone: Once You’ve Recovered and Are Done Bawling About Your Budget, Learn How to Ball on a Budget and Become Really Well Known at your Local Dollar Tree

Guilting People Into Generosity 101: “It’s For the Children.”

Supplies and Demanding Children: You Will Literally Always Need More Gluesticks and Construction Paper

3D Printing A Seed Library, and Other Ridiculous Concepts and Contraptions That You Will Read About In Professional Publications But Will Never Be Attainable or Applicable @ Your Library Given Your Budget and Patrons’ Needs

Professional Attire: The Best Cardigans for You and Where To Buy Them Cheaply, En Masse

Dealing with Pubescent Patrons: How to Gently But Firmly Stave Off the Advances of a Twelve Year Old Boy Trying to Convince You To Leave Your Husband Because You Know He Is Probably Just Practicing to Ask Out A Girl His Own Age And You Don’t Want to Crush His Confidence But Also Ew.

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers: Being an Asshole Isn’t In Your Job Description Either Yet You Still Do That Every Day

Dealing with Difficult Coworkers II: You Are Clearly Miserable Because You Picked The Wrong Profession and I Feel Sorry For You

Dealing with Difficult Union Representatives: Don’t.

Stacks Survivalism: How to Breathe Through Your Mouth when Dealing with Mouth Breathers Who Have No Sense of Personal Hygiene or Personal Space

Dealing With Parents Who Care Too Much: Gifted Children Are Actually a Curse

Spanish for Librarians: There Is No Subtitle for This. You Really Just Ought to Learn Spanish. Why Are They Not Teaching Spanish. I Will Never Need To Learn How To Code a MARC Record But I Need to Speak Spanish Every Day But Can’t. Just Kidding, This Turned Into a Subtitle.

In closing, you can expect me to be running the GSLIS program at URI real soon.


2 thoughts on “GSLIS WTF GTFO: Courses They Should Actually Offer in Library School

    • Absolutely! I’ve been lucky and someone else has taken care of the plumbing at my library, but even so! A follow-up course could be “How to retrieve things patrons drop down the sink.” Because that has happened more times than I ever expected it would.

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