Johnny Truong’s MMLIS helps him transition careers today, lead libraries tomorrow
For Johnny Truong, becoming a librarian was his immediate goal, but understanding how libraries run was his endgame. That’s why he chose the University of Southern California’s Master of Management in Library and Information Science online degree. He views the program as his chance to learn the business of libraries and more thoroughly explore his potential.
“Throughout the library and information science program, the business focus is prevalent because it matters a great deal in the real world,” Johnny said. “In today’s competitive environment, even in the world of libraries, a bit of business scope is well appreciated. Every aspiring leader must understand underlying business concerns, which is why offering a library science program through a business school augments the learning experience.”
Since joining the program, Johnny has already successfully transitioned to work in a library setting.
“I was working a part-time job prior to starting the USC MMLIS program and have since started interning as a library assistant in an entirely different work environment,” he said. “The USC program was essential in qualifying me for opportunities.”
Practical applications in library settings
Now an intern for the Buena Park Library District, Johnny said the practical experience has helped him extract greater knowledge from the MMLIS program.
“It was a two-way street,” he said. “During my internship, I am able to relate and apply what I learned from my studies on digital information systems. My day-to-day activities include conducting reference interviews with library patrons, managing a section of the library’s collections, and planning, assisting or executing various library programs. The USC program offers many opportunities to explore topics that interest you, so you can make the most of it.”
In particular, Johnny enjoyed his final semester course on “Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals.”
“It stood out to me because it allowed me to pursue a topic of interest while formulating the blueprints for an instructional program,” he said. “The act of crafting theory, assessing it and delivering an informative presentation on how to conduct a program was fun and can be applied in the work setting.”
A dedicated help desk
Johnny found it took discipline to manage his work and course schedules, but overall he found the flexibility made balancing both very doable.
“The course structure and web interface make it possible to plan out tasks weeks in advance,” he said. “The professors are always willing to help and offered much-needed flexibility in making up for any missed live lectures.”
When he needed it, Johnny also found the support staff to be readily available and ever-helpful.
“I found the student support services to be a big highlight throughout my time in the program,” he said. “They were able to address many questions that I threw their way. They also did an exceptional job at communicating job, internship and scholarship opportunities.”
Thinking ahead, getting ahead
Currently, Johnny is completing his capstone course, a process he started early — by request.
“I received information about the capstone a little early because I was curious and willing to ask beforehand,” he said. “That’s the kind of support I am glad to have in this program. If you have the will, they will show you a way, if not two.”
As graduation nears, Johnny remains focused on his long-term strategy of advancement in library science.
“Today’s digital domains have allowed information to be much more abundant, accessible and easily dispersed,” Johnny said. “Learning to discern, collect, manage and utilize today’s information in a library setting is only a part of the MMLIS program’s focus. I believe that USC’s emphasis on organizational management will help prepare me for the coming age of library and information science.”