Summing it Up: My Capstone Project

Has it really been three years?

That’s the question my classmates and I keep asking. You begin a master’s program like a long-distance swimmer standing on the edge of an ocean, excited about the possibilities ahead. You hit the middle, neck deep in deadlines and assignments, and wonder “What the h____ was I thinking?” Then you reach the end and realize — it’s over. You’ve made it to the other side. It feels like a triumph, but it feels like something else, too. It’s like saying goodbye, not just to the craziness of the journey, but to that person you were when you started it.

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Photo by Dan Stark on Unsplash

Creating the capstone gave me a chance to relive the transformative learning experiences of the past three years. I started the program as a wordsmith who loved libraries. Although I had taken numerous professional risks earlier in life, I had spent several subsequent years in the professional “safe zone,” doing work that I knew I could do and that others thought I should be doing. I was used to the writer role, and enjoyed it, but I wanted to do — and be — more.

The MLIS program was a chance for me to do things that I had been drawn to but could not do in my day job. I shot video, created a photography portfolio, started this blog, designed multiple websites, and recorded a podcast. I participated in discussions about the role of libraries, the ethics of unpaid library labor, and the impact of technological change on library service to marginalized populations. I read thousands of pages and wrote tens of thousands of words, and I loved every moment of it. My weekly discussion boards and daily readings were my refuge from job stress or whatever personal challenge I was facing. When I became discouraged by the rain outside or a soul-piercing microaggression, my class assignments kept me focused on something bigger, positive, and better. The work I did as an MLIS student was a product of both my intellect and my heart. And I put my whole heart into it.

The capstone conveys what I have learned and how I plan to use the knowledge in my future career. I hope you read it, and I hope it inspires you in some way.

Capstone link: https://stacytorianportfolio.weebly.com/

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