What was your degree in?
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A post on another thread about a good bachelor's degree for an MLS got me to thinking about the types of majors that end up working in libraries. So, if you work are a librarian or work in a library (with or without an MLS) and have a college degree, what was your major?
I did a double major in French and Linguistics, which have proved quite useful when I have to catalog books in random languages.
Political science. They said it would be good for law school. They lied :)
I majored in archaeology. I love reading and researching history and archaeology, but have found my dream job working in a public library.
Katya, I also majored in French. I thought I was going to teach and then decided it wasn't for me. Other classmates in library school majored in English, anthropology, and computer science.
My BA is in Latin. Like >4 bitter_suite:, I was planning to teach and then decided against it. I heard it would be good for catalogers, too, although I've wound up as a reference librarian, at least while I'm substituting my way through grad. school.
I majored in archaeology and art history. I'm still in library school, but I'll probably end up in an art library or an archives.
I am a library assistant with a BA in Studio Art with a minor in Chicano Studies. It's not that those are good degrees to work in a library, but I put myself through college working as a library clerk, so I had a good bit of experience.
BA English Literature and the first module of the MA with the open university before I became a bit disillusionsed.
My degree taught me a lot, but not about librarianship - work experience and professional awareness has been essential. Still studying for my MSc but getting there!
I like to write creatively though and studying literature kind of killed that a bit for me. I find it much harder to write now.
Double major BA in English and Spanish. Reading over the years has been the best education. The Spanish studies gave me an appreciation for people of different nationalities/cultures. Also, I can still speak it a little.
Work in two libraries, have a Masters in Psych, starting my MLS in the fall.
I think twisted paths are more interesting. :)
Undergrad was Russian, basically just because it had to be something. I knew I wasn't going to go on to get an advanced degree in Russian, and there's not much professionally you can do with just a bachelor's in Russian. I worked two years, then went right to library school.
In my dream world, I would have my R.N.
Started out at Berklee College of Music, got mega-confused, dropped out....transferred to the Studio for Interrelated Media at Mass. College of Art. BFA 2003.
And now I'm finding that media arts have more of a role in LIS than I had ever imagined.
Looking to apply to Pratt by the fall.
BSc in Geography because I found it fascinating. Then I discovered I couldn't get a job in that field and had to find something else. The science background has been very useful in my library career, though.
My BS was in biology, specializing in forensic science and worked in the field for a little over 2 years. It's been amazingly usefull for my career.
Double major B.A. in English and Economics, and M.S. in Space Studies. It was much later I decided to become a librarian. And I did have a library job for two years that was actually related to aerospace. But even though I enjoyed that connection to the aerospace field, I moved on to a (much) more lucrative position (with a 4-day work week) elsewhere.
If I had it to do over again, I would major in linguistics, and study German, Japanese, Spanish, and Norwegian. (I do speak German, although I've lost my fluency, and I've taken intro-level Japanese, which is fascinating. I haven't taken Spanish or Norwegian. I live in Texas, so Spanish would be super-useful, and I want to learn Norwegian because I spent time in North Dakota and they teach it there.)
B.A. in art history and Spanish (double major) and M.A. in art history. I've just started the library program.
B.A. in Journalism -- News/Editorial (vs. broadcast, PR, etc.). I've found there is a certain symmetry between the researching/reporting angles both journalism and library science incorporate.
BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature with Supplementary Medieval Icelandic
The Icelandic helps with languages when I'm cataloguing, as does my French A level.
i got my bachelors in women's studies (with an emphasis on cultural anthropology) and my minor was creative writing.
BA in English lit with a minor in political science. Also briefly flirted with computer science and education for what that's worth.
B.A. in English Literature and Sociology...
A handful of my colleagues are from Soc backgrounds, so I suppose I expected to see more of you from that background as well. Interesting. Good topic.
B.A. in history, minor in economics. It was so long ago, there was a lot less history to learn. ;>)
I'll keep the history ball rolling. I received my B.A. in history with an American Indian Studies minor.
BA in Hebrew, Biblical & Theological Studies. Used it once, cataloguing a dusty Hebrew collection no-one else would touch.
I'm really glad for this thread! I'm studying for my undergrad right now, and still early enough in my academic career to change my major if necessary. I'm currently a double major in French and Communications, and was worried that it wasn't a good idea. Thanks for the reassurance, especially all you French majors. Merci!
Drawing and Painting at At Dundee Art School, then teaching. Now at the Art History Instute of Amsterdam University.
B.A. & M.A. in Art History. The M.A. was a thesis option rather than the more practical Museum Studies course. Then the '80s Blockbuster art show era ended. . . and I ended up in a non-MLS position at a public library. The ironic thing is that I doggedly applied for library jobs as an undergrad and could never get one!
I have a B.A. in Liberal Studies. It included three concentrations, in my case English, Psychology and Anthropology.
My B.A. is in European history. The research I did was extremely helpful in both my M.Lis and S.Lis degrees.
My BA is English & Theology, it was handy when I was Manager of a Christian bookshop, but I wonder now if a more speicalised degree would actually be more useful - the really interesting jobs seem to be in specialist libraries. We shall see, I don't start my MSc until sept.
I have an BA in history (military history) and a MLIS. I thought getting a humanities degree would make me well-rounded. It definitely helped in graduate school because I was experienced in writing papers and doing research. I am starting a MA in history this fall. I have worked in libraries as a librarian, but I am currently a technical editor in a hospital which is like being a fish out of water, since I am not a science person :0 There is hope. I have several interviews for librarian positions coming up soon.
I have a BA in English Lit. (with concentration in Medieval and Elizabethan Lit.) and a BGS is Psychology. I started my Masters in Literature before realizing that I really didn't want to end up teaching the stuff! I'm considering Library School since my current library job is a bit of an extension of my hobby and life-long passion, cataloging (I've been collecting and labeling books since I could read!). Too bad I didn't realize all those years ago that my true love, cataloging, should also be my career. (I guess I was afraid that I might start to dislike library work if I did it for a living)
I have an old fashioned liberal arts degree, with a double major in Communications Arts and Science and Psychology, and a double minor in Theology and Philosophy. (No wonder I'm so messed up.)
BA, English. I would have liked to do a social science, but I have a great deal of difficulty with algebra and couldn't complete the math requirement for a BS. I still try to learn algebra because I would like a Ph.D and still like the social sciences.
My BA was in Education and it is a great match for an MLS. Education and library cross over each other in sooooo many ways it is crazy.
My BA was in French, with a minor in Latin. Also worked on a specialization in secondary education, but decided at the last moment to NOT become a teacher. ; )
BA in anthropology and religion, with a minor in women's studies. Also went to culinary school and worked as a chef for several years in the middle of my college career. I'm not starting library school until the fall, but I've been told that the more diverse a person's experiences, the better librarian they are (depends on the kind of library/librarian, of course).
I think that's part of why my Education degree fits so well with my MLS. I had study some of most subject areas to get my Ed BA.
BA in English with a concentration in Theatre Arts. Spent a year working in an independent (now defunct) bookstore in Philly (anyone remember the Chas. Sessler bookstore at 1308 Walnut?) before deciding to get the MLS.
Probably no "do-overs". I was destined to be either a librarian or a designer/architect.
I have a BA in Economics/Hotel management from Hungary.
I also did a double BA on Sociology/Religious Studies (with emphasis on Christianity/Judaism/Islam) at UCSB (California.)
MLIS from U Washington.
I majored in English and Creative wrint as an undergraduate. I work in a fashion library now and am about four courses away from my MLIS at SJSU.
BS in English and American Lit and Language. MA in Education Leadership, MLIS from Wayne State University. So glad I took the librarian job over a principal job.
I may actually be one of the few with a B.S. in Library Science and Elementary Education. Pennsylvania put LS in the education department and when I moved to New York I had to take extra credits because they only have the masters level.
BA in History (focus on 20th cen. America)
BA in English (focus on 20th cen. Am/Eng Lit)
Concentration in American Studies
I went to a rather small college, so instead of specified areas within English and History majors, we learn about everything. Ancient Greece to the Cold War, Beowulf to how to (attempt) to write like Annie Dillard. I love it.
I'm interning in an academic Special Collections department this summer, working on the papers of a few different writers. I'm also currently looking at a few different MLIS programs. Wayne State University (in Detroit), University of Michigan, and Simmons (in Boston). It all depends on student loans, I suppose.
>B.F.A Puppet Arts
OK, that's just awesome. Are you a now a children's librarian, perchance?
A.S. in Arts and Science, with a concentration in Deaf Studies
B.A. in English (literature, which really included American lit. too), no concentration
MLIS -- generalist (there were archives and school library tracks in my school)
Fine Art with an emphasis in sculpture and art history. All my professors told us not to quit our day jobs if we were going to be artists. The library is an awesome day job!
I work as a middle school media specialist, first I earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering, then an MLS, then teaching certification through an alternative certification program. Next a masters in theology if I can find a good online program.
B.A. in Classics and Politics
The variety here is quite close to that in my LIS class - general humanities seems to dominate but some stand outs (Puppet Arts!)
Bachelor of Music - in my case, essentially a specialised history degree, from University of London. After my MLS, worked as a music librarian before going over to the dark side and becoming one of the suits ...
>B.F.A Puppet Arts
OK, that's just awesome. Are you a now a children's librarian, perchance?>
Yup, I work part-time in children's and part-time in Technical Services.
Well, let it never be said again that a BFA isn't useful! :D
Great thread! I've got an MFA in Creative Writing, minor in psychology from back in the day. Wishful thinking = biology bachelors!
French majors, WHO KNEW. practical, yet romantic.
BS in Agricultural Engineering and MS in Computer Science. I left a career in computer programming and went back to school for MLIS. I've been a reference librarian in a public library for 2 years and love it!
My undergraduate degree was a B.S. in Biology. I also had certifications in secondary biology and general science education, as well as K-12 environmental science education.
B.S. in Secondary Education - English, with a minor in Ed Media. I knew I wanted to be a public librarian, though, and I went straight on to grad school. Not a day of regret.
my bachelor's degree was in elementary education and library science My MLS is from Catholic University. I recently retired as a university librarian.
Medieval & Renaissance Studies with a minors in French and Spanish.
That's not very clear. One should probably not post after a 12-hour day!
My B. A. is in Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and I minored in both French and Spanish.
I was a newspaper reporter when I went to college -- majored in American Studies, which combined 4 fields with a thesis for graduation that combined them all -- my fields were English, History, Religion, and Sociology and my thesis was on The Search for Utopia in America. I became a librarian by accident, but have found that major was just ideal for me and all that followed college.
>65 lindseynichols:. French majors, WHO KNEW. practical, yet romantic.
"Practical, yet romantic." I should start describing myself this way. :)
My BA was in creative writing...poetry. So was my MFA. I'm finishing my PhD in comparative lit now, alongside the MLIS. Wedged in there in the PhD program is a joint MA in english and women's/gender studies. Because, clearly, I'm on some sort of bookish crack. ;-)
B.A. in music, which has come in handy while cataloging my library's music collection.
Mine was in Political Science too. Was also told it was good for the law and would a good match with all those history credits I had. Not even remotely so. I've spent years in law libraries and the poli sci degree hasn't applied at all.
Ditto the poster upthread who said library work is an awesome day job for an artist! I'm a writer and I'm published, but I'll sure never get rich from it. Being a librarian is a perfect day job -- stimulating without being draining, and access to all those lovely resources for research purposes.
My B.S. is in secondary education (that's junior high and senior high for you non-teachers), with my subject areas Language arts (literature, writing, journalism) and Social studies (history, geography, sociology). You have to be flexible in the teaching field. Turns out that made me a very good reference librarian / instruction librarian at a university. Actually, I'm the only one of my acquaintances who has successfully held jobs in FOUR areas of librarianship -- public, college/university, school, and special (religious).
I did a my library degree as a BA (Uni of Canberra), with a major in Spanish because I was 18 and had a vague idea it would be nice to learn a language. We don't get a lot of Spanish speakers in Australia, but I'm back at UC working now and it's been quite handy for cataloguing the Spanish department's material. :-)
When I get around to doing a masters degree, it'll be in IT of some kind as I seem to be drifting into systems work.
I think that any degree can help you in a library - depending on the library and where you work in the library.
I have a BA in Literary Studies and Computer Programming. This got me into the library in the web department because I could write and program - a rare combo. I then got my MLIS because I loved working in the library so much.
Started out in an Actuarial Maths & Statistics degree, but changed near the end to a straight maths program. Took a 180 after that and tried some archaeology. Am half way through my Masters in Library studies now and working in an academic library.
I have my BM from Berklee (professional musician) I just got my MLs and I'm looking for work I keep an eye out for an opening at Berklee, a lot of guys i went with teach there now. I can join the gang
B.S. in Psychology & MA in Theology ... along with M.S.L.S. Now I can help the kooks & nuts find books and forgive the sinners for their overdues.... :-)
I have a BA in English Literature from the University of Wales, and a postgraduate diploma in LIS from University of London. When I went to uni, there just weren't any undergraduate degrees in LIS - you had to do a degree then get a diploma, and it didn't seem to matter what subject you did, employers focussed on the postgrad qualification.
That shows my age!!
I thought there would be more out there like me--
I got my BA in History (I thought I wanted to go to law school). A few years later I decided being a librarian might be cool so I got my MLIS.
I've a BA in fine art (painting, sculpture, graphic arts). I don't have my MLS. I've been working as a 'librarian' in elementary schools for 9 years.
I hold a Masters of Fine Art, with a life-time Missouri teaching certificate. I now find myself in a public library, in a system covering the size of New Jersey in northwest Minnesota, where I've been over six years, on an Indian Reservation as a lone librarian. Or as I like to refer to myself, the "Queen of the Library."
My major was in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles. The customer service experience working in retail prepared me well for assisting patrons as a reference librarian.
My B.S. was in Political Science (with a minor in Business). I have an A.A.S. in Human Services, and I am currently working on my MLS. When I am done with this...who knows. I love school, but not the tuition.
BA in Romance Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, etc.) because I couldn't pick just one language. I'm now learning Danish for a long trip to Denmark. Who knew languages were such a stepping stone for Library Sceince?
>Who knew languages were such a stepping stone for Library Science?
I used to want to get paid to learn languages, but I could never think of a job that would do it! I think that cataloging is probably the closest I'll ever come, since it uses foreign language skills a lot, and I can take classes at the university for free. :)
B.Music in Music Ed and another master's in Pastoral Studies. Now I work in a seminary library.
BS in Psychology with minor in Early Childhood Development. Masters in Social Work and in Family Studies. I worked in the social service for years before going back for Masters in Library Science. Now I work youth services in a public library - love it!
B.A. in Fine Arts, M.A. in art history and criticism.
It surely doesn't matter what your undergrad degree, I have a friend who is a Corporate Librarian who has an Masters in Engineering. Only differences are when you know you want to do a certain specialty. I am a Catalog Librarian in an art museum library, so my education placed me well.
^ 94 bookloveral
I am so envious of your job! I was offered just such a position and desperately wanted to take it, but it was a $6K pay cut, AND they offered no insurance at all for my spouse, which essentially meant ANOTHER $6K pay cut, for a total of $12K. I'm not in the field for the money per se (I would be nuts if I was!), but a $12K cut is too much even for me. I've got all those kitties to support, after all!
okay here goes my twisted path. Started as Pre med-- chemistry killed me.. switched to double major Psychology/sociology dropped out for a few years then finally got a BS in Human Service Administration then got my MLS. Funny thing is that I worked in a library during high school and early college years and now I am back here as Head of Access services at a college and teaching children's lit and Adoloscent Lit.
B.S. in Occupational Therapy. I guess the 'connect' is in meeting people needs. I used to help them with their physical needs and now I help them with their information needs.
B.A in English- Creative Writing and Literature. Just recieved my MLIS
B.A. in English, went to work as a newspaper reporter. Spent five years in a distance program getting an M.A. in the Humanities (with an eye toward teaching as my next career). Just started working in a community college library and like it a lot so I'll probably enroll in another distance program for an MLIS -- but need a small break before starting ANOTHER master's ...
BS - Neurobiology...delusional thinking led me to believe I wanted to be a doctor.
I definitely agree that twisted paths are far more interesting, and you learn more on the detours than the planned excursions.
I have a BS in Geography with a minor in Sociology. Planning to go back to grad school, with an attempt for master in Geography..
I majored in English and Elem. Education. Hated student teaching. Worked for the Federal Government as a Management Analyst (AKA "paper pusher") while going to school part time for my MLS. Planned on being a Media Specialist in an elementary school and did sub in that position, but am now a Children's Librarian in a public library. I finally found my nitch.
My degree is B.Mgt, Info Mgt/Librarianship. With a minor in Psychology. With this degree I've worked in various libraries from Children's to Engineering to Medical. Currently working in a public library (the psychology certainly helps here).
History primarily, but I was a generalist, switching majors two or three times during college (back in the days when you could do that and still get out in four years). I have significant coursework in both art history and English literature.
B.A. in Theatre, minor in English--Creative Writing. I agree that any degree is okay/helpful for grad work in library science (and it helps to be able to sell it for those personal essays and interviews). Believe it or not i've found my Theatre education to be extremely useful as both a general liberal arts education and in life (i also wasn't one of those college grads who had delusions of instant job offers upon graduation).
I didn't realize librarianship was my path (and the one i was meant for until after a few years in the life in the "real world" (also highly recommended before embarking on grad school)
I really wish i'd realized it earlier...
BA in sociology (concentration in social work) from Boston University;
MLS from Syracuse University;
MA in "Computing & Education" from Teachers College, Columbia University;
additional credits in "Cognition & Technology" from Teachers College (had been contemplating going for an Ed.D. in educational technology)
I am a librarian at a small local college. I have a BA in history along with my MLIS from Kent State. I think any degree that requires you to do extensive research (history, law, etc) will serve you well when you go into the library world. Hopefully your years studying as an undergrad will have taught you good library and online database skills. No matter what your bachelors is in you should be able to make it work. Even music studies you can pull into a music librarian gig.
Smiling also helps :-)
In May '08, I received a BS in Computer & Information Science. Right now, I'm working at the Reference Desk in my alma mater's library. (Being tech-savvy definitely comes in handy on the job. Luckily, I don't have to write any programs. We have a separate department for that.) In about a week, I'll be starting grad school where I'll be working towards an MLIS degree.
I have a B.A. in Biology and a minor in business. I agree that my science research definitely helped me in my career. I was at a public library as a reference librarian and head of reference for a total of 4 years. Before that, I worked as a high school library associate (I did not have my MLIS yet) for 5 years. I know the science degree has helped when I had those pesky science project kids come looking for help. :) Now I am looking to get back into reference or do something different like college librarianship. But I am keeping my options open.
Now a science background would have help me in just those areas! I was Political Science with a minor in American History
B.A. in English, B.S. in Business Management and the M.L.I.S. I was able to step right into a job as an information literacy librarian at an academic library where I work closely with both the English and Business Administration departments on campus.
I had a BA in History + minor in Religious Studies before enrolling MLIS. I also have some scattered degrees in Educational Studies. The latter has been useful to me since I work as a School Librarian.
BA in political science with a minor in Russian.
I'm a cataloger now, so knowing a second alphabet is very handy.
For a long while, the other two catalogers were both German majors.
After my BA in Art & MFA in Film, I "graduated" from a dozen years study with a Hindu swami. Then, after several years of hard-knocks schools in retail, advertising, and journalism, I snagged my dream job in the local public library as the webmaster and public-computer guy. The old art training helps me make the web site look good.
Nice! I've cataloged a couple of books in Cyrillic in the last year (one Russian, one Ukrainian), but it's not something I get to do much.
I'm finishing a degree in Marketing and then plan to go for an MLS. I've worked for our library system for 10 years and I'm one of those 'older, non-traditional students' you hear about! Online classes have made it possible for me to go back to school.
BA Feminist Studies & Art History, now with an MSIS :o)
Before I went to graduate school to be a librarian, I was applying to PhD programs in women's studies, but then decided that I would probably be incredibly unhappy as an academic.
When I started my MSIS, I was looking towards an academic library, but after working in a high school library decided that working with teens was too much fun and have been doing so since I graduated :o)
My bachelor's degree is in English. My parents wanted me to teach, but I hated the classroom. I chose English because I like to read. I also took a lot of electives in history, which I have found quite useful in the public library.
My undergrad is in Communication Studies (they had specific areas of study but I couldn't decide so took a few classes from each area). So far my undergrad classes that dealt with information management or research have really helped me in my classes for my MLIS. The beauty about the library profession is that it doesn't discriminate- no matter what your background/undergrad the information you have will somehow be useful to you as a librarian. One of my fellow co-workers has her undergrad degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and now loves her job as a Reference Librarian!
I am looking to eventually work as a librarian. I currently obtained a Masters in Business and technology.
I plan to go back to get my MLIS sometime. :)
BA in International Studies and MPH in Health Education.
I've always loved books, but I volunteered in the school library as a defensive measure. My children love to read but hate to search for those overdue volumes under the bed.
I do not have an MLS.
My BS is in Finance, with a minor in religious studies. I've never used either one in any professional situation! Most of my livelihood has always come from music, which was my original major before opting for "something sensible." I wish now I had my degree in music!
BA in Sociology and Women's Studies but I am thinking of going back and getting my MLIS.
Music and French, and I thought I was going to teach. Glad I chose library school. :)
B.A. in English - focus on Creative Writing
M.A. in English - diaspora studies
BA in Computer Science Information Systems -- w/Management Concentration
start MLIS in Jan '09 at UW-Milwaukee (online)
Well..... being the odd one out here, in a few ways. First of all, I graduated in the Netherlands under the old system (AFAIK the BAMA system has now been imported in Dutch higher education). As such, I have no direct equivalent for my degree level, although I think it's slightly higher than a Bachelor's degree. So let's call it a Bachelor's degree.
Secondly, the school completely change curriculum halfway through. Having started at the old Bibliotheek, Documentatie en Informatie (BDI) - Library, Documentation and Information college - it then became Information and Documentation Management (IDM), which was far more modern and infomanagement oriented rather than looking at classical librarians work.
And now I live and work in the UK, moving from project to fixed contract, hoping that the next job will the final permanent one.
B.A. in English (well, actually, in creative writing, but what do you do with a degree in THAT?), minor in history.
I also have a Master's in Education when I thought, mid-career, that I might like to be a teacher. WRONG! They have to work WAY to hard! So my second Master's is an MSLIS, and I'm much happier doing this than anything else I've attempted!
In brief: BA, University of New Mexico, 1988; MEd, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1995; MSLIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
BA in Political Science and History. Minored in poverty and unemployment.
141 - that minor might be useful to us all in this day and age...
Well, you have to laugh really, in the face of it, don't you...
Started out undergrad as an Aerospace engineering major... changed to Geology because I can only handle thinking in 4 dimensions (ended up one class shy of the degree)... then added a second major, Psychology (graduated with this one!); spent a couple of years wondering what to do, went to law school because it sounded fun (which it was! I know I'm warped.) Now, as becoming an employed lawyer seems to be avoiding me, and I'm not so sure I want it to find me, I'm applying to MLS/MLIS/etc. programs. *This* time I think I might actually be on to an interesting and employable career. Wish I had thought of librarianship earlier.
Prior to my MLIS, I majored in English Education. After student teaching, I decided that high school was not where I wanted to be.
My first degree was BSc in maths and physics. I loved studying the pure side of the subjects, but had no interest in the applied. I've just started my MSc in LIS and only been working in a library for a year, but I'm definitely not regretting my change of path. I've had no direct application of maths or physics, but I think it has really helped me with technical aspects.
Journalism -- but the pay was terrible. So, I'm now employed @ a public library rolling in dough!! HA!
Double major in public admin and political science. The accounting / finance background helps out a great deal. Turned down law school for library school. Best choice I ever made :)
B.A, European history with a minor in philosophy, M.A. and 30 additional hours toward Ph.D. in European History, M.S. in librarianship because I needed a job. Have been a professional librarian 33 years.
My BA Degree is in History, wanted to do an MA in same, but needed a job, so did a Post-Grad in LIS. Been a librarian/information professional nearly 20 years
B.S. in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Sociology. Worked as a Private Investigator before I settled in a small public library 8 years ago and earned my MLS.
BA in Public Media with Communications and Cultural Studies. Just the sort of degree that gets you a job flipping burgers (or a dead end job in a bank).
Associates in culinary arts believe it or not – worked as a traveling chef for a few years before family matters brought me home.
BA in comparative literature but I feel like I mostly majored in “research papers” – very helpful to have a research methodology down pat so I can guide library patrons through the process at the college I work for. Working on my MLS (It all makes for an interesting resume).
I'm a library clerk and I have a BA in Journalism with a emphasis in creative writing.
BS Home Economics
MS Education Administration
I ended up where I should have been at the beginning, in the library. I did find that the different background I aquaired and worked in helped me in the running the library.
BBA in Administrative Management - majored in business only because it was considered a good degree, but the bottom fell out of the market. Did retail and clerical for a few years to keep body and soul together, then on a whim talked to a prof at a library school and was immediately hooked. Got my MLS and never looked back.
BA in Asian Studies; MA in Asian Studies, emphasis in Chinese literature. Haven't found a lot of use for it on the job, but it's still an interest.
>Haven't found a lot of use for it on the job, but it's still an interest.
Wow. I'd think it'd come in handy for cataloging, at least, since non-alphabetic languages are a bear to work with if you don't read them. (But I don't know what kind of librarian you are or what type of library you work in.)
My undergrad was in Education, with specializations in English and Library Science. I have always worked as a school librarian, and I enjoy my job so much I'm currently working on a Master in School Library Science from Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA.
MLS (1979) University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ph.D. in Library Science (2004), University of Wisconsin, Madison.
A great University and town for people committed to intellectual and personal freedom.
Undergrad in Social Work from University of Michigan.
Really comes in handy working with patrons in my area. I work in one of the poorest communities in my region. People tend to need a lot more help than some librarians can offer.
I have a BA in Anthropology (spec Archaeology) with dual major credits in English, and part of another B degree in Computer Science.
I have a BA in cognitive science and I'm aiming at getting a Masters of Ed. in Educational Technology. I'm a media assistant working on becoming a media specialist, so this this is the kind of degree I need.
Strangely enough, librarian is one of the top careers that cognitive scientists end up in. Can't find much else to do with the degree, I guess.
I have a bachelor degree with the major in library science. I have been a elementary school librarian for 13 years. I have automated school libraries in nearly every school I have worked in from Louisiana, to Oklahoma to Texas. I absolutely love to catalog!
For some strange reason I decided on a double major. A BA in Library and Information Science and Religious Studies. The first part has come in useful - as I am a Reference and Community Information Librarian, but still have not used the Religious Studies area.
BA in American History with a minor in Art History
MLIS next month, with thoughts on getting an MA in a few years in some History subfield.
Congrats on getting the MLIS next month! The light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly approaching. Betty
Several lifetimes ago, a BA in English (Amer Lit). MLS after that. Was a medical libn for a while, now work in a very tiny public lib, the world's best job.
BS in communications with a double major in advertising and journalism
BA with double major in history and single major in classics. Honours degree in Australian history. Doctorate in politics and public policy, though really thesis was political history. Graduate diploma in library science. Virtually no application to my role as liaison librarian for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Studies in small college library.
BS degree -- major in Biology, minor in Sociology
Master's degree -- forensic science with a concentration in crime scene investigation
BA Degree- Social Studies Education with a concentration in African-American Studies.
I started out a physics major interested in teaching. I got a job working in the special collections department of the university and fell in love with library science. When I asked what I should switch my major to in order to better prepare myself for library school I was told Information Mangament and Technology which is what my B.S. is in.
BA Hons in English Studies from Sheffield Hallam University. First member of my family to attend a university so I'm very proud of my degree. :-)
BA in Education with major in library science and history minor
then later back to school for a BBA in management and about 20 some hours in computer science.
Anthropology BA to Ph.D.
I expected to see a lot of anthropology graduates but I only saw one on the whole list.
Double major B.A. in art history and English literature. M.A. in art history.
B.A. in Anthropology and a M.A. in Archaeology. I left my Ph.D program to work in a museum, and gradually moved through museum work to instructional technology to libraries, all the while working in digital initiatives.
Well I still havent fiinished by BA but I graduate in the spring and hopefully as long as I am accepted will be entering graduate school for my MLIS. My BA is in History with a minor in Library Sciences.
Good luck on grad school applications! :) Where are you applying, if you don't mind my asking?
I am applying at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for their online program. I dont care to live in Milwaukee so I think it would be better this way. I have done lots on the online program with my minor at my current college since they offer all the library couses online as well as in class. It works well when you need to balance work and school. Now you can work all day and do your schooling at night and still take a full load. I love the online format. How about you? Graduate already or in school?
So many Americans. :-)
Do you guys think your degrees are worth more or less than an English one? Just a question, not an angle. :-)
I never thought there would be any big difference between British versus American degrees. I can say, though, that I've experienced the American and Australian university systems (spent a semester at the Univ of Sydney). In Australia, students applied to the field of study, then got assigned to where they go (although I imagine they could express preferences). They got government stipends while attending. These were 3-year degrees and if a student changed their field of study, they essentially started over at the first year. You see the problem? Hmmm, the government is paying my tuition AND a living stipend as long as I keep going to school..... I knew someone who had changed twice and was on his 7th or 8th year getting a 3-year degree!
I think the cost of American colleges is outrageous, but I do think paying something towards higher education ensures that the students are a (in general) a little bit more motivated.
I also spent a year in high school in (then West) Germany. The students there were way beyond me in math, science, foreign languages, etc. But boy, I've never seen so many students cheating on exams in my life.
That reminds me, when I was in Germany I was in Gymnasium. Perhaps 1/3 of German students go to that, the highest level of their public schooling, and only about 1/3 of THOSE students go on to university. The family I lived with did not have a high opinion of those "lazy" students who just wanted to go to university so they wouldn't have to work. Sigh....
B.S. in Design.
This is one of the reasons I love being a librarian, and why I switched my emphasis from info. systems to librarianship: such interesting, diverse backgrounds!
I'm a library director at a very small library. I have a B.S. in accounting and a B.A. in music.
>83 wallerr: Clarion?
My path was tangled too, started off with Social Work, changed to Nursing, the tried philosophy and ended up a French major (B.A) I am roflol at how many here are French B.A.s Spent 6 years as an Army Russian linguist. A friend told me there is something each of us is supposed to be doing (not necessarily a job, but it can be). "Librarian" has been trying to get my attention for years, I just finally listened. Graduated today, MSLS, Clarion University of PA online Specialized Information Center. Work as a Reference assistant plan to be ref librarian.
I have degrees in music...so I'm hoping an MLIS will lead to a job in a music library somewhere.
BA in English.
When young people ask me what they should study to become a librarian (it happens!) I always suggest the liberal arts, but to study what they want because all of that random knowledge they acquire will come in handy in a reference job. Just knowing the names of random playwrights has come in more handy than I ever would have imagined.
#198 That is why I love doing open university courses and even classifying books - all the random knowledge comes in handy. I do think that the librarian is the 21st century's answer to the Renaissance man/woman - a knowledge of a lot of stuff - but the real knowledge based in how to find out what you don't currently know.
MA in theology... All the language work helps BIG time.
Also lettered in science, and my MLIS thesis was in music.
You NEVER know enough when you're a cataloguer, IMHO
BA in psych with a minor in Eng a long time ago. had several careers before library work.
You all are amazing. I have a masters in educational psychology and it gave me my first step into library work but my heart was really in the children's library. Fortunately I branched out and have loved it ever since.
My B.A. degree was in Philosophy, and I took such graduate level
courses in addition. I wanted a PhD in Phil., but that was not possible.
I have my MSLIS, and I do cataloging at both academic and public libraries.
>205 night_sky: - was a reference librarian before I became a cataloguer ;)
I have a BA in Political Science with a minor in Economics. I also have a MA in International Relations in addition to my MLS.
Religion, with a minor in fine art. Awesome preparation for library work.
I was a non-traditional student - went to college 16 years after high school and had been working in a library for 16 years (was hired a month before graduating from HS) It took 14 years part time to finish (it took that long due to health problems), but I graduated in 2001 with a BA in English Lit. Now my student loans won't be paid off until I'm in my 70s!!
My BA was in creative writing, and I have a Master's in elementary education (University of Illinois at Chicago, 1995 -- my advisor was the notorious William Ayers), and a second Master's of Science in Library and Information Science (U of I, Urbana-Champaign, 2002), with specialization in Administration and Cataloging.
My BA was English with a minor in creative writing, but I had enough credits for minors in anthropology and women's studies! My wide range of interests is what helped me decide to return for library school.
I have to admit that I never got that MLS (my mother, who is a library director, nearly talked me out of it, and then I was rejected when I did apply, which put paid to the whole thing). However, her degree, which may not mean a thing if you didn't attend the University of Texas, was in Plan II. And she doesn't have an MLS either, even though she's been running the same library since 1960.
I double-majored in English and Communication (PR/Journalism track).
I've found that the experience I had in these two programs helped me in many ways. For one, I've learned how to write for different disciplines (APA, AP, and MLA styles). I also got a lot of experience with resources while writing papers for my English courses.
BA in Spanish, MBA, JD, MLIS - I use something in my background every day and I'm loving it.
I have a degree in Allied Health - paramedic program. A job I enjoyed for years. I absolutely love working in the library now...
I have a BA and MA in English literature and I work in a government library where the subject matter is quite different. Nonetheless, as a cataloguer (Cdn. spelling), I am bad at remembering MARC field numbers but great at catching typos, etc.
I was a Latin major, too, and taught it for 3 years before going on to Library School
I received a B.A. in English in 2010 because I enjoy literature and it is by far my best subject. I am currently pursuing my MLIS degree and hope to finish summer 2012. Depending on what happens within this year, I may go back for a second masters in Professional Writing as I enjoy writing creatively and have always wanted to improve it. I also know that some academic libraries like to see a second master's so this will help me there as well.
I've a degree in Philosophy. It's very useful, because I work in library specialized in Theology, Christian studies (Early Church), and Philosophy.
I am pleased to note that I am not alone in having a degree in mathematics.
BA, from a teachers college. Still love math, and enjoyed doing proofs.
I waited thirty some odd years to get a masters in library studies, and then worked as a school librarian. Everyone thinks I was an English major. Don't they expect anyone else to read books? I read incessantly as a child, and have always loved childrens' literature, even, or possibly especially, non-fiction. So spending time in a childrens' library was (almost) heavenly.
I have an AA in Early Childhood Education, a BS in Elementary Education, MLS and an Ed.D. in Higher Education.
My BA is in American Studies. I was wrenched away from the height of "Madchester" (The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, the Hacienda as the coolest club in the world) to spend a year at Penn State studying north Americans in their natural habitat.
BS in chemistry with several courses in scientific German
MS in Information studies
I work in an academic library where I am the head of technical services along with being the science liaison librarian
I think the scientific background really helps in cataloging!
A.A in English and my intended direction is a BA in English. I've just begun the PT Library job search though.
B.A. in history with a minor in film. Apart from having an embarrassingly encyclopedic knowledge of movies, I've used my degree very little.
My work-study position was at the library, and the library was small enough that they'd train some of the work-studies to staff the Ref Desk. I enjoyed that work, and that's what led me to pursue an MLS.
BS in Computer Science. Work in IT 20 years, went back to school for MLS. Public library reference library. Your usual story ...
BS in Environmental Science, which led to teaching outdoor ed, then my MLIS from Drexel.
BCom in Economics and Philosophy, minored in Politics. If I had to do it again, it would have been Economics and Finance, as Financial Databases are the most fun one can legally have in a library ;)
BA in Religious Studies... My plan was to do a PhD but I couldn't bear the thought of school at the end of undergrad. After a few years off working in development at an art museum, libraries called to me. And though I thought I'd end up working in academic reference or collection development, I've somehow ended up in a local history special collection at my public library chain.
A.A. in Fine Art, B.A. in Art History with a minor in film, and M.L.S. People are always surprised that I have a B.A. and are blown away when they find out about the Masters. I swear, people must just think we take some kind of two week course on the dewey decimal system. I hardly even know dewey! It doesn't come up that often (except for when people are looking for the true crime section). A few weeks ago I went in for a haircut and the lady asked me what I did for for a living and when I told her I was a librarian, she said "Oh that must be an easy job". Seriously! I just gritted my teeth together and said "No, actually it's not. We do a whole lot more than people realise". I could have said something snarky about cutting hair not being that difficult, but I honestly think that it is not that easy, plus she was cutting my hair and I didn't want to end up bald.
Really, I've always wanted to be a permanent student, cause this whole working thing just kinds sucks.
I'm another twisted career path. My B.S. Is in medical technology. Did substitute teaching for a few years and ended up in an elementary library. Funny thing, even in college, my favorite electives involved literature.
BD Theology, Followed by working in a bookshop for 3 years followed by post grad library course
The subtext of this question implies that there is a chance that a degree might be an indication that training has been undergone, rather than evidence of an education ...
Really, I've always wanted to be a permanent student, cause this whole working thing just kinds sucks.
amberamber's comment #233 is something I really relate to, and looking back on my checkered career, that must have been the subtext of my life all along. I went to University in the first place over the protests of my father who was of the old school and thought girls should just get married and live happily ever after as stay-at-home moms. That was several decades ago, and I never did become a mom.
My BA is in English and because I was interested in everything and was a veritable sponge, like most of you in this thread, I did what was then called a composite minor which consisted of upper division courses in whatever I wanted to take: history, geology, psychology, music, philosophy. I knew I was going to be a librarian, and all of this provided an excellent background. Soon after library school at Berkeley I worked in a rare books shop for a while, and looking back, that was perhaps the direction I should have stayed with, but I've swerved here and there and everywhere and am now retired, and books and reading and learning are still at the forefront of my life.
The subtext of this question implies that there is a chance that a degree might be an indication that training has been undergone, rather than evidence of an education ...
How do you figure that?
An education draws you out (see the Latin derivation), whereas a training fills you in. MY subtext relates to a strong feeling that the distinction has these days been lost ... or at least blurred.
BA in English, because I had to major in Something. Taught HS English for two years, then decided I needed an MA in English to teach in a Really Good High School.
Chose a university which also had a Library Science program; ended up with both the MA and the MSLS.
Never did go back to teaching HS English. Got a job at a public library.
Went back to school part-time and earned a CAS in Library Science.
Worked in an academic library in another country for two years.
Returned to US and worked in a large public library.
Then became Library Director at a small public library. Now in my 35th year of librarianship.
BS in horticulture. Never did find a job in that, started volunteering at the local library, got a part time job there which became a full time job. Now I'm a cataloger.
A degree in Geology at University of Wales, Swansea. Followed by some random work for a year then a Post-graduate Library Studies diploma at West London University.
These days and for many a year I'm an SAP consultant specialising in new product development. You never know which way you're gonna go!
BA in Music, minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, worked in the bookstore for three years during school. I was set to start my masters in musicology and intern at a major opera company but changed my mind last minute (mistake? Who knows.) and started researching library schools. Spent a year un- and under-employed, currently working as a book shelver/library clerk/whatever plus odd jobs and I'm signed up to start the MLIS in September. Goal is to work doing something along the lines of special collections or rare books and manuscripts, maybe with some form of music librarianship thrown in.
I seem to gravitate towards jobs where I get free books.
Goal is to work doing something along the lines of special collections or rare books and manuscripts, maybe with some form of music librarianship thrown in.
That's an awesome goal. Good luck!
Indeed! If I had it to do over again I would stay with rare books. Had an opportunity way back when and let it go. Oh well . . .
I double majored in Mathematics and Biology. My previous jobs were in the areas of Computer Science.
Basically, I have a very unusual background, but it is helpful. My strengths are opposite of the majority of librarians I've met. I tend to be precise in laying out tasks.
I found MSLIS graduate school somewhat daunting in that I wasn't always sure exactly what the professor wanted for specific assignments. I wasn't familiar with the subtext or connotations the professors were giving... But once I got past the "language barrier", I was fine.
I think having a strong background in providing customer services in invaluable to public library staff, much more important than a specific undergraduate degree.
Diploma from CEGEP(college in Quebec) in Urban and Regional Planning Technology
Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honours Urban Planning, University of Waterloo (Ontario)
Am working full time in a municipal planning office and love working with the public
Part time student at McGill in the MLIS programme.
The students who I started with at McGill last fall have similar backgrounds to those found in the messages above. Certainly makes for interesting group work.
Currently volunteer at our local genealogy library.
I have a BA in anthropology with minors in history and religion. I also do have my MLS. I've worked in libraries since I was a freshman in college, which is what motivated me to get my MLS.
I have a BA in French (USF '93), half-completed double MA in French and ESL, and of course my MLS from Florida State University ('99). Working on a MS in Public Health but switching to something more practical (for me) - Educational Tech or Higher Ed Admin.
BA, MA, PhD in English literature: graduated at the absolute low point of the academic job market. After years of simultaneous part-time teaching gigs at multiple universities, I went back and did my MLS, planning on becoming an academic librarian/subject specialist. Instead, I ended up working in publishing (as the editor of a reference work) and now as a librarian at a government agency.
BA in English, BEd, MLS. I look forward to being able to look back on this post in 20 years or so and say that I really enjoyed my second career as a librarian!
Double majored in Physics and Mathematics. Thirty years later earned an MLIS.
BA in History. I originally wanted to be an archivist but now I just want to be a regular librarian! I'm working right now as a corporate librarian for a pharmaceutical company.
I had a BS in biology and a MS in microbiology. I have worked as a library assistant and as a Medline indexer. Currently under selfemployed doing writing and auditioning for voiceover work. I miss how the last library I used to work in used to be.
I have a BA in Psychology with a minor in Sociology.
I am currently in the MLIS program at the University of North Texas. I will graduate May 2014.
I have a BA in film studies (1995), an MA in Critical studies (1997) (UCLA speak for film studies) and now my MLIS (2012).
I'm currently working as a copy-cataloger / education curriculum cataloger.
FRENCH, CLASSICAL GREEK, RUSSIAN.
I worked 35 years in cataloguing, so as Katya0133 said (in message posted in 2008), it proved "quite useful ... to catalog books in random languages."
I had started out to do an Honours French degree but decided that a librarian would need a more mixed degree. At the time I didn't understand that specializing in French (or any humanities subject) would have given me a much broader education ultimately.
I wish I'd done a SCIENCE degree; was attracted to Climatology. Later, as a reference librarian, I could always "fake" science but always floundered if met with pure organic chemistry or physics.
In the past couple of decades the MICROBIOLOGY mentioned by NineTiger in the message above would have been useful, as it has been a rapidly growing field of research and "hot."
B.A. major in Greek, minor in Latin. Rare book librarian with focus on the history of medicine; I'm the only person in the building who can read Galen and Hippocrates ...
Bachelors in Anthropology (socio-cultural focus) but I was only 2 classes away from having a 2nd major in World History... I wanted to continue ahead and get a masters in Museum Studies. Not too far off from a library, I guess... ^_^
Psychology major. Actually attended grad school in psych before I saw the light, got my MLIS, and joined the best profession in the world.
I wonder if we've been in any classes together? I got my M.L.S. many years ago but have been taking U.N.T. online courses in medical/health informatics to get up to speed in that area, since taking my first medical library job about two years ago. I've taken four classes so far, and may take the additional four needed for an Advanced Certificate.
My favorite class so far has been the Database Searching, which doesn't focus entirely on medical. That one's taught in person in Houston on Saturdays in the Spring semester. Highly recommended!
While I was working at a university music library without having achieved any bachelor's degree, I took an extension school degree in Humanities over the course of many years, and it cost me only about $2000 in total! I've always considered my interests to be in the humanities (music, literature, and languages), and how surprised was I to receive a Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science!
Got my B.A. with a double major in Linguistics and German Studies. While they haven't been terribly useful in my work as a librarian thus far (M.A. UW-Madison, 2012), I think they set the tone for my love of history and my specialization in archives within my Master's. Anyway, happy to have read all of that fantastic German romantic lit in German!
BA in History in 1973. MLS in 1974. I take some offense at the OP's phrase "end up working in libraries". :) MA in Management Information Systems in 1986. I've always enjoyed the information delivery aspect of librarianship and pursued a career in library systems.
BA in Integrative Arts. Various, assorted, unconnected graduate courses in Art History.
>271 Andy961: Yes! I "ended up" working in libraries but it was what I really always wanted to do. So there!
I certainly didn't mean "end up working in libraries" pejoratively, more as an acknowledgement that the road to becoming a library worker is often an indirect one. However, since the original post is over 5 years old, I'm not going to edit it at this point. ;)
>274 Katya0133: Katy, I imagine you didn't! I never even thought of it that way until Andy in the post 271 mentioned it.
Besides, there are a lot worse places in which to end up, no matter how one might feel about working in libraries!
Then, why did you not take a library position from the outset? More to the point, if library work what what you always wanted to do, then you did not "end up" (a phrase I continue to dislike) there, it was your goal.
To me, being a librarian meant having the degree -- an MLS -- and therefore having several semesters in grad school. I loved teaching math, and could do it with my B.A. After a few years, in the 1960s, I realized that if I wanted to live NOT in my parents' home AND buy a car, I'd need to do something else for a living.
So I did. I got a job as a programmer trainee, increased my salary by 50%, got married, had a few children, and said, one day, maybe, I could do the MLS. In shirt, life got in the way.
By way of explanation, asking one's parents to help bankroll an advanced degree, at that time, and from my background, was out of the question. They had gone above and beyond already, in their minds, in supporting me through 4 years of college. A real luxury this was, for a girl, who, after all, was supposed to have a career as wife and mother.
Times changed, thank goodness. I did the degree mostly part-time, and got it in 1998. One of the oldest in my graduating class, and probably the happiest.
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