Practicum 1: Introduction

To get a government license as a librarian in Israel, one must do 160 hours of practicum. Of that, 40 hours are field trips to see different kinds of libraries, with groups discussions afterwards. (We’ve visited large public library systems, the National Library, a prison library, etc.) The other 120 hours are done in a host library, getting a taste and overview of an entire system.

After looking at my resume, my GPA, and my talents, the lecturers in charge of placements decided that my best chance of employment would be in a academic library. They were probably right — I’ve interviewed at public libraries and was told that it would be a waste for me to work in reader services because I could “do so much more”.  (They don’t offer me a job doing what they think I can do, or even bother telling me what they see me as, but…) A library that would like to hire me if they could get a budget for additional staff tells me they know it’s only temporary, until I move onto something “better.”

I’ll be doing my 120 in two different libraries, a 70/50 split, because there are things the primary library will not allow student librarians to do, such acquisitions and cataloging. The first 70 hours will be at the library at the college where I am studying LIS, Beit Berl. The other 50 hours will be done at the Ariel University Center of Samaria.

In Beit Berl I will be doing my practicum hours following the progress of a book through the library — acquisitions, cataloging/classification, reader services and reference, and then the special offices like inter-library loans.

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