Saturday, March 31, 2007


I did it!!!! Yesterday! Comps are OVER!!!

What a relief!

Actually, they weren't that bad -- although I could still barely drag myself out of bed today. Academically, the test was not that hard. But I still feel emotionally exhausted, because they make such a big deal out of it. They have been hammering it into us -- CompsCompsComps -- since before school even started, since Orientation.

They make it a bigger deal than it actually is. They want it to be a rite of passage, which I guess it is anyway -- something to make us feel we've actually earned that degree, our "union card," as my old boss called it.

Well, it's better than writing a thesis. I would have had serious doubts about attending this program if that had been required. I don't like the thesis. I had a bad experience.

One of my coworkers at Middleton told me that her final project at her library school (which I think was San Jose State) was to create an online portfolio. THis was a few years ago, when having a Website was still a big deal. That's big project -- but it's one you can actually put to use when you're done.

Anyway, the test was four hours long -- two hours in the morning, and two in the afternoon. There were two questions to answer in the morning, and our choice of two out of three in the afternoon.

The first question was about Internet filtering. I was actuallyon the Filtering Committee at NOPL, so that one was a cakewalk for me. I figure, if you mentioned the Children's Internet Protection Act by name, you were OK.

The second question required us to describe an ethical challenge, and our response to it. So I described challenged books in the public library. Again, not hard.

In the afternoon, the first question was about free-text searching versus a controlled vocabulary, as in a periodical database like ERIC. I didn't answer that question, because I liked --

-- the second question better, which was "What is metadata?" And we were specifically constrained from giving the fifty-cent answer, "data about data." But since I am currently taking a class called "XML, Markup, & Metadata," I was all over that. I wrote about administrative, sctructural, and descriptive metadata.

The final question required us to describe how we would market our library -- any library of our choice, real or theoretical. Also to discuss whether libraries should be marketed at all, and why or why not. I wrote about NOPL and how I would market it as a resource and cultural center for the citizenry of New Orleans during the recovery process.

I really liked that answer. I wish I could have a copy of it. But we aren't allowed to see our tests again. In fact I have been told they will be destroyed after grading.

But anyway, it's done now, and man I'm glad. Major hurdle surmounted. Myhusband took me to The Melting Pot, the fondue restaurant, last night to celebrate. With champagne. Another reason, I guess, I'm so tired. But a tiredness well earned.

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