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TL v60n4: Alison DePollo
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Tennessee Libraries

Volume 60 Number 4


It's My Opinion!

Student from a Distance


Alison DePollo


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 It’s that time of year. No, I’m not talking about the holidays. I’m talking about that time of year when my classmates and I gather ‘round Blackboard (an online classroom management interface) to see what our grades are for the fall semester.

For the past two weeks, all of my classmates on Facebook have had a variety of status updates, mostly all related to getting our grades. Why are we so impatient when it comes to grades? I don’t remember caring this much in high school, or even as an undergrad. One of my classmates said it perfectly when she said, “Well, we’re the ones paying for these grades!” I think she’s right.

As I enter the penultimate semester of my Masters of Information Science degree, I wonder… Have I made the grade? Have I been a good information science student? My grades say I have, but I worry about entering the library field. Will what I’ve been learning these past few semesters really help me in my day to day efforts to help my patrons?

I ordered a book through Interlibrary Loan a few weeks ago titled What They Don’t Teach You in Library School by Elisabeth Doucett in hopes that I might get some insight into what else I need to know. Of course, I haven’t had time to read the book (which is due today, actually…) so I’ll probably just buy it. In my quest to learn to be a good librarian, I read internet blogs written by librarians (as I’m sure many of you do). One of my favorites is by Brian Herzog. His blog ( is about the day to day life of a reference librarian in a public library. I hope to be like him someday. He can take the craziest, weirdest, most random patron question in the world and turn it into a learning experience for himself and (most times) for the patron, as well.

What it really comes down to, I think, is experience. When I do become a librarian, I will be the new librarian on the block. I will have questions, but I will learn from those questions. Hopefully, I can take the experiences of my future colleagues and learn from those as well. Then, once I have many years of experience under my belt, I can pass my knowledge onto the next new librarian

Alison DePollo is the Student Supervisor/Stacks Manager, Circulation Department at Sherrod Library, East Tennessee State University.


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