Education and inequality

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NOTE: This was an unpublished draft that for one reason or another I did not publish on the date given. In order to clear out my draft folder on 12-16-2013 I chose to publish it. However, I won't vouch for the completeness or accuracy of it, and it most likely does not reflect my opinion anymore.

One of my more prouder moments more than likely occurred in the space of 10 to 15 minutes, when I as the chair of the Library college's alumni group spoke in front of a graduating class of shiny new librarians, archivists and other information professionals. I don't remember my exact words but I did say something along the lines of you've got an MLS don't take a crummy low paying library job, your degree has value. I said this because, at the time, there were advertisements for library jobs, requiring a graduate degree, at near minimum wage levels.

When I was working towards my MLS, I had a part-time job, but I was in awe of the women (and really it was a female dominated program) who managed to not only hold down a job but raised kids while in the program. I'm still in awe. Though the library sciences (to quote a library director who shall go nameless) is not 'rocket science', neither is its study a walk in the park. The Help, who went through the same program, but roughly 10 years after me, resisted going in, because of all the opportunity costs associated with pursuing a degree, even though tuition was free.

What does this have to do with anything? Well going back to my first paragraph, a degree tends to have value in the marketplace. I know this may ring hollow for my un/underemployed friends with graduate degrees, but for the most part, they do have value. In this city, they have a lot of value


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