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Heidi Bryson is completing her School Librarianship summer work at the J.T. Roberts PreK-8 School in Syracuse.

The Beginning of a School Librarian Career

6:00 A.M. Doesn’t Look So Bad Anymore

Reflecting on my internship, I find it hard to believe just how much I enjoyed it. Working as the summer school library media specialist, I never once dreaded getting out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, 6:00 a.m. is still tough, but there was something to be excited about every day. The variety in my daily schedule kept everything fresh, but there was still enough routine to feel comfortable. Now that my experience is ending, I feel more sure than ever that I am on the right path and that this is the career for me.

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Next year, I will officially begin my job in the Syracuse City School District as a teacher librarian; I will also continue to take classes at the iSchool. I am lucky to be hired only halfway through the program – there really is a high demand for certified library media specialists in New York State. I actually feel especially fortunate to get the opportunity to be able to work as a librarian and go to school at the same time.

The interactions that I have with my classmates and my cohort are always inspiring and invigorating, and so many of our discussions are just an endless font of ideas that I can’t wait to put into action. Now, I will finally be able to immediately implement exciting lessons and programs, instead of simply thinking, “I can’t wait to try that! I hope I can remember to…”

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Advice for Future School Library Interns

I am going to work on growing my Professional Learning Network (PLN) as well, and I hope to attend as many conferences and professional developments as I can. Meeting other librarians has been one of the best parts of my internship. I would advise anyone entering into a similar experience to reach out as much as they can to the library media specialists around them.

I felt so welcomed by all of my coworkers in the district, and each and every person was incredibly responsive whenever I needed help. Don’t hesitate to ask questions during your internship, for whenever I did, I gained so much. The librarian at the school next door invited me over for mini-training sessions, which cleared up so much of what I was worried about.

Another librarian in Texas, who I reached out to on a listserv, spent 45 minutes with me on the phone talking me through the intricacies of flexible scheduling and then warmly encouraged me to stay in touch. Without a doubt, the professionals in this field are some of the nicest, most supportive people I have ever met.

Want to be a School Librarian?

I can’t wait to start full-time, but I am so appreciative of this “warm-up” opportunity that I had. I’ve grown immensely, and I have so many memories to treasure from this experience. I can’t wait for more moments of geeking out over graphic novels, listening to a sixth-grader interrupt himself with his own laughter while doing a picture book read-aloud, and exploring new technology with my students, side-by-side as fellow learners.

I’d love to be able to pass all the help I’ve received forward, so if you have any questions at all about the MSLIS School Media program, my experience, or school librarianship, please feel free to contact me!

Heidi Gramlich Bryson

Heidi Gramlich Bryson

Heidi is a former ESL teacher and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. After serving two years in Uganda and realizing that her true passion lies in being able to support an entire school community, she decided to enroll in the iSchool to earn her Master's in Library and Information Science: School Media. She loves gaming, yoga, martial arts, traveling, and relaxing on her deck in the sun with a great book or graphic novel.

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