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U of Iowa Library School profiles 25 grads

Considering I barely made it through the program, I find it somwhat ironic that I was chosen to be one of the alums to be given a WHOLE PAGE in the latest newsletter from the University of Iowa's School of Library and Information Science. The issue explores the 50 year history of the program. 

Let me explain...

After spending two years as the world's worst HS English, Speech, and Drama teacher in a small Iowa town from 1976-78, I decided I needed a career change. I had always loved libraries, and more importantly, wondered what job could possibly be easier than that of a librarian? Order books, keep kids on task, and read a lot. Even more importantly, how much does a person really need to know to be a librarian anyway so how hard could it be to get a degree in Library Science? Getting an undergraduate degree in English Ed was primarily reading literature and then bullshitting on essay tests, and I felt that was about my academic ability level.

So I applied (not giving those reasons for my interest in the field) and was accepted into the program, where immediately that first term I discovered that my fellow classmates consisted of about 30 of the most brilliant, hardworking (obsessive?), and serious women I had ever met in my life. That first summer I barely hung on by my finger tips, especially in the cataloging class where I was the only person handwriting catalog cards. I was given a mercy C for the course if I remember. I promised the instructor to never, never accept a job as a cataloger.

But I managed to work my fulltime evening job to support myself and small family and still get through the program. I was the beneficiary of reverse discrimination, being the only white male in the school library part of the program. Two full semesters and two summer sessions later, I had my degree and was back in a small Iowa school, this time as a school librarian.

And I loved it, continuing to work as a school librarian for the next 12 years. Like the library school program, the job itself was more involved that thought.



So now you know the rest of the story.

I am deeply grateful to the U of I's SLIS and very proud to have been selected as a profiled alum, regardless of how mistakenly the decision was made.



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