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CODE4LIB  May 2014

CODE4LIB May 2014

Subject:

Re: College Question!

From:

Megan O'Neill Kudzia <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 29 May 2014 11:45:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (224 lines)

Riley, great questions! Everyone, great answers!

I guess I'd just add (as another English major who went to a small liberal
arts school for undergrad, and who sort of backed into systems and
programming) that what I've found really useful about the breadth of
education I got kind of breaks down into 3 things:
1) I get cred with people I potentially otherwise wouldn't. I have enough
knowledge to be dangerous about a lot of subjects, but it helps faculty see
me as someone who knows what I'm talking about. I can speak some of the
language of a lot of fields, which then helps those faculty feel
comfortable about my expertise (such as it is). So that's really useful.
2) I got used to the idea of seeing problems as complex, large-system
things. I have worked with folks who can absolutely bash something together
and make it work, but they don't always see the big picture re: how much
time/sweat/frustration it's going to cost them 3 years from now, and 5
years from now, etc. when they have to migrate or upgrade or fix up that
thing they never really did properly in the first place and then didn't
document. This is NOT TO SAY that you can't get that perspective elsewhere,
or to allege that I always document or build things properly, etc. It's
just a useful perspective to have, and that's where I learned to think that
way.
3) If you're a person who learns or explains well through analogies, a
broad education that forces you to take classes in a lot of subject areas
and brain work types (textual analysis vs. modeling, etc.) will give you
TONS more fodder for those analogies.

I share the regrets of many others, in that I wish I had taken advantage of
the CS curriculum offered at my institution and taken classes in that area
when I had the chance. As Adam says, I just have some catching up to do now.

I'm really enjoying watching this discussion and seeing where we all came
from, academically speaking :)


On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 11:27 AM, Cary Gordon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I include science and math in liberal arts. Of course, Greek and Latin are
> also considered liberal arts essentials, and I wish I had studied them.
>
> I also have an MLS, which beyond being a requirement for many jobs, makes
> it easier to comprehend the conversation. I got mine 10 years into working
> with libraries.
>
> Cary
>
> On Thursday, May 29, 2014, Laura Krier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > I wouldn't knock a liberal arts education, especially based only on high
> > school experience. It's sort of the point of college: to be able to learn
> > and understand about a wide range of fields and subjects. Otherwise you
> > might as well go to trade school. College isn't just about getting a job
> > when you graduate, but about learning how to think and understand
> different
> > perspectives.
> >
> > And liberal arts includes the sciences, which I think people tend to
> > forget. We think "oh, liberal arts are the arts and humanities" but they
> > really encompass every school and department in a university.
> >
> > And as other people have mentioned, there are key skills you can learn
> from
> > courses in English, anthropology, history, philosophy, sociology, etc.
> This
> > is where you learn to write, to communicate effectively, to understand
> how
> > people think (user experience, anyone?). These are all crucial skills
> that
> > separate leaders and those who are more successful in their fields from
> > those who are not. I'm not saying you can ONLY learn these skills in
> > college, from a liberal arts education, but it sure helps.
> >
> > I also don't think there's anything wrong at all with going to a "trade
> > school" or whatever we call them these days, and learning a skill set
> > outside of the realm of a liberal arts education. It really depends on
> what
> > you want to do and how fast you want to get to doing it.
> >
> > Laura
> >
> >
> > [image: Laura Krier on about.me]
> >
> > Laura Krier
> > about.me/laurakrier
> >   <http://about.me/laurakrier>
> >
> >
> > On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM, Riley Childs <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:;>
> > >
> > wrote:
> >
> > > ________________________________________
> > > From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura
> > > Krier [[log in to unmask]]
> > > Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2014 1:22 AM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] College Question!
> > >
> > > >>Hi Riley,
> > > >>Congrats on starting college in the fall! If you like to learn,
> college
> > > is pretty much the best place ever.
> > >
> > > College next fall, but almost there, pretty scary  :)
> > >
> > > >>I second others in not necessarily recommending a bachelors in
> library/
> > > information science. I would actually suggest computer science if
> you're
> > at
> > > all skilled with math and logic. You'll probably have the best
> > > post-graduate opportunities even if you change your mind about
> > >>libraries.
> > > >>
> > > >>But make sure you get a well-rounded liberal arts education. Take
> > > advantage of gen ed courses to study things outside of your major
> > whenever
> > > you can. All people are served well by having a broad base of
> knowledge,
> > in
> > > my opinion. And you'll need solid writing skills no matter >>what you
> do
> > in
> > > life so make sure you practice those every chance you get. :-)
> > >
> > > I am meh on liberal arts, my high school is Liberal Arts and I really
> > > don't like it....
> > >
> > > >>Basically, as long as you learn to be a lifelong learner, it doesn't
> > > really matter what you major in I think. You'll always have to learn
> new
> > > things anyway.
> > >
> > > >>Congratulations again!
> > >
> > > >>Laura
> > > >>PS- To more directly answer your question, I majored in literature
> and
> > > women's studies in college. Now I'm a web services librarian. I kind of
> > > wish I had a more solid computer science background but I'm still able
> to
> > > learn what I need to.
> > >
> > > Sent from my iPhone
> > >
> > > > On May 28, 2014, at 9:49 PM, Amy Drayer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear Riley et al:
> > > >
> > > > I was thinking the same thing as Coral.  I have a humanities
> undergrad
> > > > degree; a computer science oriented degree would certainly have been
> > > > beneficial, especially with an emphasis on network and server
> > > > administration, or even web development depending on your interest
> (as
> > a
> > > > systems librarian I also managed the website and catalog).  The
> > > > library-oriented education can wait until grad school.
> > > >
> > > > Honestly, I think we come from a variety of backgrounds.  My liberal
> > arts
> > > > foundation works for me (I feel my education was well rounded in a
> way
> > a
> > > > science or IT degree may not have been), but I would definitely have
> > > wanted
> > > > some more technical classes such as I mentioned above if I had known
> I
> > > > would be in this field.
> > > >
> > > > In peace,
> > > >
> > > > Amy
> > > >
> > > > In peace,
> > > >
> > > > Amy M. Drayer, MLIS
> > > > Senior IT Specialist, Web Developer
> > > > [log in to unmask]
> > > > http://www.puzumaki.com
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM, Coral Sheldon-Hess <
> > > [log in to unmask]
> > > >> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Riley,
> > > >>
> > > >> Whatever you do, don't major in library science as an undergrad.
> Maybe
> > > >> minor in it, along with some other major, if you want, but it's not
> > > useful
> > > >> by itself as an undergraduate degree--most libraries want librarians
> > to
> > > >> have the MLIS. And what if you change your mind after a few years
> and
> > > don't
> > > >> want to get the masters? Do something you could get a career in--or
> > work
> > > >> in, part time, to afford the MLIS.
> > > >>
> > > >> If you want to be a systems librarian, why not get a degree in
> systems
> > > >> engineering or IT? (Seriously, there are degrees in
> > > >> IT< <http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=332>
>
>
>
> --
> Cary Gordon
> The Cherry Hill Company
> http://chillco.com
>



-- 
Megan O'Neill Kudzia
Web Services & Emerging Technologies Librarian
Stockwell-Mudd Library
Albion College
602 E. Cass St.
Albion, MI 49224

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