Dr. Olson’s Expectations of a DLIS Graduate Student

In his address to students at the Semiannual Meeting, Dr. Olson implored his students to be the best they can and then some.  As library and information professionals, we have the “potential to make the world a much better place for everybody,” Dr. Olson said, but, “nobody can enable you to succeed but you.”  Listed below are ways in which the dean of the Library and Information Science department believes are the best ways to not only make the most of your education, but to become an overall better student, better worker and better employee.


→Go above and beyond!

It is expected that class work be completed timely and to the best of your ability.  But to apply knowledge gained through your class work is a means to further your professional development is the best way to go above and beyond.  Take advantage of networking through library association workshops and events held all over the metropolitan New York area.  Apply for and take on an internship position to apply the theory of coursework to real life situations in the field.


→Take advantage of the LIS faculty!

The professors in this department are highly skilled, knowledgeable and insightful.  Available by phone and/or email everyday, it is simple and painless to schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss any doubts, aspirations or career plans with whomever you choose.  Do not have unanswered questions! Talk to a professor today.  They will guide you toward proper internship and career opportunities available to you as a student and graduate of this department.


→Embrace group work!

Group work, everyone’s least favorite and most dreaded aspect of many LIS courses.  Students feel much less in control of the fate of a project when they must rely on others’ contributions.  However, as industry shifts demand a larger emphasis on group work in the workplace, you better get used to it.  Sure, there will be times when you are stuck with that other student that barely contributes, is difficult to contact and only brings the pizza to a group meeting.  Most groups will never even meet together in person.  However, by embracing the ideas and knowledge of those in your group, projects may be easier and more fun than you ever could have imagined.


→Be teachable!

Many students enter the program with previous experience in library and information fields.  Many students are set in their ways in terms of computer and program usage.  Many students are used to being taught in traditional classroom settings.  Do not let previous habits inhibit your continued learning; the professors of this program are doing their best to convey all the information and knowledge they deem crucial to success in the LIS field.  As Dr. Olson said, “respect the method behind the madness,” of your professors’ teaching methods.


Going above and beyond, excelling in group work, an openness to learn and faculty advisement will propel you forward into the field of library and information science.  By incorporating these small tasks into your education, you will develop the crucial soft skills needed to send your resume to the top of the pile when applying for jobs.

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