Surviving MLIS group projects – years later we still laugh about it

18 Nov
When I had to do projects in library school

When I had to do projects in library school

A common complaint in library school was the amount of group work that was required. The GIF posted above and found on Librarian Problems is hilarious to anyone and everyone who has gone through this experience. Many of the MLIS students in my cohort at McGill including myself were coming from a Humanities BA where marks were reliant on individual work in essays and exams. It was an especially huge learning curve because for all of our first-year mandatory courses there were at least two group projects. The atmosphere when a group project was announced was usually panic-stricken as the majority of librarians are introverts and in first semester we were essentially partnering up with strangers. As an extrovert, I was perhaps less stressed than my fellow students, I mean, I figured that since all potential group partners had been accepted into the Masters program I could only assume that we were all fairly intelligent studious people. In retrospect, I was generally lucky to have “good groups”. Around me I could see people who took group work to the extreme forcing their fellow group members to spend hours longer than required on projects in the attempt of attaining a perfect assignment. Other group members could go AWOL without notice leaving their groups in the lurch. The only bad experience that I had in a group  (that will not be named to protect the innocent) seemed so disastrous at the time but 5 years later I brush it off knowing what it taught me in diplomacy and the importance of knowing when it’s time to cut your losses. Now as the only librarian in my schools I honestly miss the group dynamic. I miss having other librarians to bounce ideas off or to work collaboratively on a library-focused project. The skills that I learned in group work are still there and I made some good friends during these projects. So much that I was tagged 3 years after graduation in a friend’s Facebook post about that featured this GIF making fun of our shared  experience of group work. If you are in library school now, don’t worry, you get through the group projects and to those who clench up looking back upon those assignments, what was your best or your worst group experience? Do you ever talk to those people anymore or have they developed into lifelong friends?

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One Response to “Surviving MLIS group projects – years later we still laugh about it”

  1. Ahniwa Ferrari November 20, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I really enjoyed a lot of the group work. My only real issue came when 70% of my grade for one class was based on 2 projects in which I was forced to work with the same partner. This despite being very vocal about my issues and that we should have different partners for the second project; arguments which were entirely ignored.

    Other than that, I really enjoyed collaborating with and becoming friends with the people I worked with. I get to do that to some extent in my current position, but like you I do miss some aspects of that work during my time at McGill.

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