According to Leep student Robyn Whitlock, the iSchool's school librarian licensure program has done "an amazing job" of preparing her for a career as a school librarian. Her advice to students considering school librarianship is "go for it!" As she nears the end of her program, Whitlock "couldn't be more excited about the future."
Applications for the MS/LIS school librarian licensure program are due by February 15 for summer or fall admission to the program.
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
I spent a number of years at home when my children were young and began volunteering in their school's library. Eventually, I took a job in the school district as a library assistant, where I worked for almost seven years. Early on, I realized I loved librarianship. Walking into the school library felt like "coming home," and I realized I had found my passion and was ready to take the next steps in beginning a new career.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
I spent a great deal of time researching library science degrees, both in-person and online. In the end, I chose the iSchool at Illinois because the program was highly regarded and offered me the flexibility to work full-time while taking classes. (The in-state tuition was also much more affordable than the private school tuition I was comparing it to!)
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
I am passionate about promoting literacy among all grade levels and teaching students to think critically to evaluate information for research projects.
What do you do outside of class?
I have three children still living at home, so I mostly spend my free time cooking dinner and going to band concerts! I also enjoy taking my dog for walks when the weather is nice, and, of course, reading!
What career plans or goals do you have?
I am completing my student teaching right now and plan to be a school librarian in an elementary school or middle school.