Part of why I enjoy blogging for YALSA is that I can have my voice, as a librarian-in-training, be heard among other professionals. And so, I wanted to post a reflection after my first year in graduate school.

Year one was great. Choosing University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was the right choice for me. I feel challenged and surrounded by peers who are just as passionate about libraries as I am. These peers are also my friends, and together we explore Urbana-Champaign. The faculty have supported me in my endeavors and have shown me more resources than I can go through (thank goodness for websites like Diigo to keep track of all of them). My master plan has been changed but this professional has the ability to be flexible. I’ve embraced my revised path and feel even more confident than I did a year ago. Even sitting in graduation, hearing our dean speak, reminded me of why I joined this profession and all the things I have to look forward to. I think it’s truly an exciting time to be in library land.

In addition to academics, I have had plenty of professional experiences as well. From blogging for YALSA, to attending Midwinter, to even my job in the Urbana-Champaign community working with elementary students and teens. All of these experiences allow me to practice librarianship, to articulate my thoughts and opinions, and to share with other professionals my passion and my desire to continue to become a better librarian. I feel that I am always learning, continually rethinking what I thought was to be true. I have this near-perfect blend of in and out of classroom time. This past semester, I felt that every minute in the classroom helped to expand how I worked in the field. While it was sometimes overwhelming to have everything so inter-connected, these inter-connections told me I was taking advantage of this opportunity.

As I go into year two, I feel I still have so much to learn. I want to continue to soak in what I’m learning. The theory, the resources, the potential programming ideas. I will have a whole career to practice librarianship, but only one year left of living in the world of academia. This summer I want to continue to read and learn about what is going on in the field right now. What are libraries across the nation doing for our teens? And how can I continue to join the conversation?

About Hailley Fargo

Hi, I'm a new professional working as the Student Engagement Librarian at Penn State University, University Park campus. As someone who provides reference to undergraduate students and teach information literacy to primarily freshman, I'm curious about the intersections of the work of YALSA and academic libraries (and how we can collaborate and work together to help our teens). In my spare time, I like to bike, read memoirs, watch TV shows, and consider myself an oatmeal connoisseur.

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