"Basically, I'd say, "Go for it!" If you think librarianship is for you, or if you're interested in information systems, you won't find a better all-around program than the one offered at WSU."
What’s your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
My name is Susan Gotthelf, and I am seeking the MLIS degree with a certificate in Public Library Services for Children and Young Adults. I’m not sure when I’ll be finished, but I’d like to be done by 2015.
Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
I was born in New Jersey, but moved to western Massachusetts when I was 15. Then, when I was 20, I moved to Argentina, where I still live. So I am doing the entire course of study online.
What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I have a BA in Liberal Arts from Simon’s Rock College, which is part of Bard College. I have also studied International Relations, Journalism, and Translation Studies.
Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
A major reason I chose Wayne State was because it would allow me to complete my studies 100% online, at in-state tuition rates. The program also has an excellent reputation and all of my queries prior to and during the application process were answered promptly and professionally (and actually gave me helpful information). The LIS website is easy to navigate and inviting.
What area are you concentrating in? Why?
I am interested in Public Libraries because they are such a unique slice of Americana. After so many years living abroad, I’ve developed a keen interest in those unique facets of American society. I work with junior high and high school age kids currently and really enjoy it, so I’d like to continue in that vein.
Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
Online, since I’m so far away.
Are you active in any student organizations?
Not yet; I’ve just completed my first semester and wanted to find my feet a little before I get going.
Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
Yes, I work in a high school library. The two courses I’ve taken so far have really made an impact on my everyday work—especially LIS 6080, Information Technology. Working with productivity tools, and learning some basic HTML coding, was really useful (and it impressed my boss!)
What are you most proud of in library school?
I’m proud that at 43 I’ve finally found the “right” career! And I’m also proud of being a student again. I work full time, and am raising three children on my own. I was terrified at first, but the professors really want you to learn and to succeed. Unlike other online programs, professors are readily available for feedback and questions. And the emphasis in the two classes I’ve taken has been on the students really learning the material presented.
Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into librarianship?
Not yet; even though I’ve been very favorably impressed by both professors I’ve had, Bin Li and James Oliver.
Since joining the program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you’ve learned about the library and information science profession?
It’s almost like librarianship is a philosophy of life—everyone is learning and collaborating continuously.
Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
Yes, I’m sure I will be very well prepared for a career in the information profession. Even though my long term goals currently reside firmly in librarianship, rather than in a non-traditional career for librarians, I’m sure I would also be in an excellent position for that as well.
What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
Basically, I’d say, “go for it!” If you think librarianship is for you, or if you’re interested in information systems, you won’t find a better all-around program than the one offered at WSU.