Though Elaine Holliday ’10 worked in McCain Library for over 2 years at the Circulation Desk, it took several sessions with Gail Bell in the Career Planning Office at Agnes Scott College to help Elaine realize that a career in libraries was a perfect match for her. “I like to help people, ” she said, “and I also like to be the holder of knowledge.”
Though new to the idea of librarianship, Elaine showed clear signs of a librarian mind when she set out to research and apply for graduate programs. “I looked for programs that were considered more ‘bang for your buck,'” she said, “and applied to University of South Carolina, University of Oklahoma, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Did you know that although there are 3 library programs in NC, 1 in SC, there are 8 in Hawaii?”
Elaine decided to attend University of South Carolina -Columbia and is currently working towards a Master’s of Library and Information Science. When her studies are complete, Elaine said she wants “to work in a small academic library, like McCain. Or in a larger academic library were I could specialize and be a cataloger or a science/technology reference librarian. Or in a special library, like a Medical Library.”
Already Elaine is embedded in the library culture, she has tales of “someone turning in a book to the library that wasn’t a library book” and adventures finding “really odd old documents.”
For students interested in pursuing an Masters in Library and Information Science, Elaine encourages them to consider online courses. “All of my courses have been online,” she said. “Not all the courses offered are, but it was very doable to have mine be all online, and this seems to be not uncommon in library programs. Also, there really is a good bit of specialization amount libraries and that affects what courses you’d want to take. And different programs might have a stronger “department” or more courses for one type of librarian or another.”
Good luck Elaine! We hope you end up working with a population as wonderful as the one we encounter at McCain Library.