I turned in my final paper for my final class for my MLIS on Friday, December 16 at exactly 3:00 PM. It was a fantastic feeling to hit the “send” button on that email and to know that I was DONE. No more school ever for this girl! Two Master’s degrees is sufficient for my purposes, and I’m really happy to have my free time back. Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy being in school and learning all kinds of new things, because I absolutely did, but being in school was a heck of a lot more fun before the pandemic hit. I wish I’d had more time available to really dig in and really love school this time around, but as of March 2020 it became tough to portion out my time in a satisfying way. I’m deeply grateful to my awesome professors and classmates who made learning enjoyable in the midst of pandemic pivoting at my workplace.
As of January 31, Simmons University has completed their degree audit on my classes and officially decreed that I am graduated from the MLIS program with a concentration in Libraries and Librarianship. And I’m incredibly proud to report that I graduated with a 4.0 GPA – all that hard work and sacrifice since September 2018 paid off in terms of getting a 4.0 in every single one of my twelve classes. Yay me.
And in other good news, the Trustees of the HPL asked if they could submit an announcement about the very generous scholarship that I was awarded at the end of August. The announcement was printed in yesterday’s Harvard Press, and can be seen here. The link will only work for one week (unless you have a subscription to the Press), so I’ve also taken a screen shot:
I was deeply honored to have been awarded this scholarship from the Patricia Thomas-Jeanig Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts. As I said in my thank-you note to the Foundation, “words truly cannot express the depth of my gratitude at this honor…it is an enormous validation of my career and life’s work as a children’s librarian.” And I added “I hope to go on to support and mentor the next generation of children’s librarians (while, of course, continuing to be a children’s librarian myself).”
I’m giving myself a little bit of grace for a month or two (or perhaps three), though, in order to catch my breath and remember what it’s like to have unscheduled time that I can use to do anything I like at all. It’s amazing to not have a voice in the back of my head reminding me of all the “have-to-dos”, and instead be thinking of the “want-to-dos”! But I’m also contemplating the ways that I can follow through on my promise to mentor the next generation of children’s librarians. It would be amazing to teach a graduate class on children’s services (not sure if that is possible without a PhD, though), but it would be equally amazing to set up an internship program at the HPL where each semester I could host a student intern and give them some real hands-on experience being a children’s librarian. We’ll see what I can cook up!
Meanwhile, it’s time to go back to my lazy Saturday morning reading a book (a book of my choosing!) by the woodstove with the four awesome varmints. No better way to spend a freezing cold February day!