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How do I choose?

Jun - 10 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

I sent about an hour yesterday reading through the class descriptions – and I want to take so many of the classes – I have no idea how to choose! I want to learn more about cataloging, so that I can make educated arguments regarding the choices that are out there. I’m also interested in taking some of the admin classes. Then there are the obvious choices like Database Management – but I’m worried it will end up being a review for me. I can’t wait to set up a meeting with an advisor so that I can start to make some decisions.

My plan is to take 3 classes a term – that will get me my degree in 1 year! It will be a crazy year. Some people have contacted me to let me know that they hope I don’t stop writing when I start school – I don’t plan on stopping – but I’m sure it will slow down!!

Thanks for all of your kind words! I’ll keep you all posted.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Iris says:

    Cataloging will be one of the most useful courses you take (I’m not a cataloger; I’m a reference librarian). I mean, imagine trying to query a database without knowing what information was in there or how it was entered! Cataloging really helps you move beyond keywords searching.

    That said, I’d suggest waiting until you’ve had some of your other courses before taking cataloging. I took it my second-to-last semester in library school, and that seemed to work out perfectly. (I finished school last spring after 4 semesters of work.) I’d had 6 classes to get me used to the vocabulary and theory that my cataloging class used and relied on by didn’t explain. But don’t take it your final term because it’s a LOT of work and you don’t want to have that much on your plate when you’re preparing for your comprehensive exams.

    Best of luck!

  2. Pat says:

    I second the suggestion that you take Cataloging- however, I’d move it up to your second term. It’s a foundation class- most information organization systems are built upon the basic principles that cataloging “beats into your brain”. I’ve been a cataloger, system administrator, reference librarian, library manager / director. I am amused to learn repeatedly, that when I have complex decisions to make, I rely on the skills I learned in Cataloging. Take fun classes too! Take a humanities bib class, a reading interests of adults or young adults class; where you read and review books. Welcome to the profession- we’re glad you’re joining us!

  3. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the advice – I didn’t see anything that mentioned reading and reviewing books – but I did not get to read through all 26 pages of classes yet either.

  4. Melissa says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I’m graduating from Drexel’s MLIS program in two days (yay!), and would actually recommend that you take three foundation courses to begin with: 503, 510, and 640. That is what many of the advisors suggest, and I’m really glad that I did it. It got them out of the way, which was nice because as you move on in the program, you hear more from classmates about which courses are good and you figure out where your interests lie so you can select classes based on that instead of just the course descriptions.

    Also, I highly recommend Content Representation–it is by far the most demanding class, but you will learn a lot! Maybe save it for a quarter when you are taking only two classes, if possible. It’s a tough one:z

    Good luck!

  5. [...] What do you think? I took a lot of advice from comments here and emails I received. Unfortunately several people told me to avoid a certain instructor and I had no choice – I had to take one class taught by him/her – let’s hope it’s not too bad. [...]


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