F – Fine Arts

FWhen I was considering Master’s Degrees, one of them I was strongly considering was a Master of Fine Arts. One of those interesting degrees where you see a number of people who do the work that is associated without having the degree. And there’s a difference, then, between those who have and have not gotten the degree – right? Maybe? Who knows!

Like with just having a blog, just having a degree in Fine Arts will not automatically make you a writer, because it does not automatically make you write. Writing still involves having the time, and more importantly, taking the time, to write.

So am I happy about my decision, to instead get my Master of Science in Library and Information Science? Bit of a mouthful, anyway. But this gives me options. Jobs I am qualified for. And the hope is, with stability and time comes the opportunity to write. Not perfect, just like other thoughts, but a hope. And it’s a nicely related field, as I get to be surrounded by books and help people work with them every day.

Whereas, with a Master of Fine Arts, with a degree just in writing, the thing you have to do is write. You better hope you’re good. You better hope you’re quick. Well connected. Get a good agent. Self publish. Something. Because otherwise, just like me, you’d find yourself doing other work.

But will I write as well as if I had the degree? In some ways, hopefully not. Otherwise, where is the value in the degree? It might take me longer, or more edits. I may not learn all the tricks of the trade in advance, but will have to do so as I go. But that’s something to accept.

How about you? What do you think about a degree in Fine Arts? Good idea? Bad idea? Any personal stories? Let me know in the comments below!


Reviewing the Reference Interview

Tonight I start my first evening at the reference desk, and I was brushing up on the Reference Interview and found an old assignment I had done on the subject. It looks like it had been my duty to read everyone’s write-ups and post a collection of our experiences. We had played at “secret shoppers” talking to librarians, seeking their help with a question of our own choosing.

It looks like I had a lot of data to go through! Lots of insights. I am going to share this write-up, figuring it’s helpful insight about one of the more important and constant aspects of any librarian job: reference. I am making a couple of edits, but for the most part, with a bit of intro here, I figure it’s pretty good. This is something originally written by me, and the data is mainly from students in my course with me. If I had kept up my blogging more while getting the degree, this might have ended up posted far sooner! I do have a couple of references, and I will leave those as-is.

It’s also kind of fun to read it and think that it’s definitely in my same “voice,” something that is solidifying more with more and more time spent writing on a constant basis! Read more of this post


Whoa, glad I took a look at the class a bit harder before the weekend! I read that the blog needed to be started by Monday, posted on Monday, and I was assuming next Monday! Looks like I am running behind!
My name is David Cox and this is my blog for IST 600, Blogging for Information Professionals. I like to think that I am working as an information professional right now, as I work in retail banking as a manager. This requires a huge knowledge base, and an equally huge knowledge management apparatus. Of course, my co-workers tend to just ask me for the answers! It’s a good backup plan.
I’m about to go on vacation, so we’ll see how they do without me!
What I don’t get to do much of in my current line of work is writing, something I am passionate about. But when I say that to people, the response I tend to always get is: do you have a blog?
Well, no.
So I think I ought to get my mind wrapped around blogging, to understand it as a professional skill, and to contemplate it as a personal tool.
When I think of blogging as a professional tool, what do I think of? you ask. Well, in my early days of my MSLIS studies (I started summer ’09, going to school part time takes some time as I am finding out!), I came across the Ann Arbor Public Libraries site. Their library site is a blog. Simple, elegant, engaging. Something I feel like I would be happy to be involved in, and confident to present to an employer.
That’s a little about me. Time to move beyond the basics I have pulled together here, and go start learning a bit more about blogging!

Some introduction

I suppose I should probably introduce what’s going on here, for anyone who isn’t doing this all along with me. Read more of this post

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