Home » Emerging Trends in Librarianship » Advice for First Generation LIS Students Posted on September 15, 2015 by CHRISTINA CZUHAJEWSKI

Advice for First Generation LIS Students Posted on September 15, 2015 by CHRISTINA CZUHAJEWSKI

Image of woman's face with the Parks and Rec quote "“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

via Parks and Recreation and Reddit

I come from a family that doesn’t have work email, retirement stocks, or salaries. My parents and siblings, my “people,” are name tag and hairnet people. Clock-out for your lunch break people. With four older siblings, I was the first to graduate high school and then the first in my family to go to college. Now, as I finish my last year of graduate school, I continue to reconcile the distance between my “working poor” upbringing with my professional future.

It’s a terrifying and privileged distance, to be a first-generation college student. The distance started long before college or grad school. In grade school, I was aware of all my selves: my school self, my home self, my true self. For me, the library was a refuge for that true self. It was the sweet spot, where I could admit to not knowing and begin to explore communities of ideas. I imagine leagues of first-generation librarians who hold this same kernel of an experience at the center of their professional story.

Two of my favorite librarians, Cecily Walker (@skeskali) and Sarah Crissinger (@SarahCrissinger), have done a better job discussing Bridging the Experience Gap for first-generation librarians, organizing a first gen #L1S Twitter conversation, and highlighting the importance of first gen discussions in the profession. You should go read those things. What I want to offer, are just a few notes for my fellow first-generation college students, as we navigate library school and prepare for the profession together. Read more…

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