I did it! I finished the semester from hell and came out a little more resilient. The course, IST 613 – Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment, was a project-based class where each student was asked to team up with a library in order to learn more about the impact of library services on their community and how those services can be improved on. I partnered with an amazing public library, Newton Free Library (Newton, MA) and hit the jackpot as far as libraries go. Not only was the staff extremely receptive to my project, they were open, available, and curious about my final report.
As much as I loved working with Newton, that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle to finish this class. In fact, aside from Physics, this has been the hardest class I’ve ever taken. Between the reading, research, writing, analysis, report, and final presentation, I didn’t take a day off the entire semester. It was a challenge, to be sure. And within the first few weeks I already felt like a failure.
I already wrote about the struggles I had at the beginning of the semester with stress and depression. At the beginning of the semester I was enrolled in two courses that took too much out of me. I had to drop one class in order to succeed in the other. But what I thought I was failure others called self-awareness. I knew my limits and took control of the situation. And came out with an A in the class, a new mentor in my partner librarian, and a second job at my partner library.
You read that right!
On top of my full-time job and library school, I now work one night a week (and every other weekend) in the circulation department at Newton Free Library.
I’m so pleased with how my final report turned out. It’s far from perfect. I didn’t leave myself enough time to edit (which is my Achilles heel – editing). But dammit, after 16 weeks and lots of all-nighters, you’d be proud of your report, too!