Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It feels good to breath again.....

For those of you who still follow me, hello again. I know it's been a while, a long while. The same thing happened last semester, too, where I took a bit of a hiatus from writing and updating. I had a choice: do well in school or have a regularly updated blog.

I choose the former.

Please don't hate me. I kind of want a good job when I graduate, which seems a bit tricky these days.....

On the positive side, I have certainly learned quite a bit over the semester (which is a good thing - I don't want my hard earned student loans going to waste). I have examined issues surrounding reference, seen what good (and bad) reference looks like, both online and in person. And I have investigated the different ways libraries organize information, culminating in a project where I examined how academic libraries have organized their materials, both historically and currently, focusing on multicultural and international issues. Dorky - but a lot of fun.

Much like last semester, I feel like I am ending the term with an overall lesson. In the fall it was putting the user at the center of what we do in the library. Read about my thoughts in the previous post: Think of the user.

This semester, my lesson lies in that there is no one right answer. Every issue we examined in my classes (from the best way to offer reference service to the best way to organize collections) never had one answer - it always depended on who the library was serving and what the library's mission was. A school library is going to different that a research library which is going to be different than a public library which is going to be different from a corporate library. And even within these categories of libraries - there is no one-size-fits-all model of doing things...

...which is a huge reason why I love library science. Growing up I've always hated math - where an answer was either right or wrong, yes or no, pass or fail. I loved thinking about a problem, deciding the best course of action and defending my ideas.

The Library "industry" in America is bigger that most people think, I think. It took me starting a master's program to realize just how big it is - thousands of libraries and hundreds of thousands of librarians and library workers. Even though we have some over arching guidelines we follow, such as the ALA Code of Ethics, it is nice to know there still is a high degree of autonomy in which individuals can choose how to best serve their patrons.

So...now that the semester is over...I promise some good posts. Now that I am knee deep in school, I have an effluence of ideas spilling out of my head, and I hope to get some well thought out ones up here. If you're still reading, and have stuck with me thus far, thank you. I promise you won't be disappointed....

1 comment:

  1. I think to catch up, I’ll start back in May. Nobody else, except for you, will easily know what a poor friend I’ve been, and by the time I’m up to July (looks like you took another break in August, schoolboy), I’ll be well-read in the world of one library graduate student. I would like to add, I also want you to do well and earn your student loans, as my taxes helped support the process. Well, I haven’t had a paycheck since June.
    You will absolutely have choices of libraries for careers. Can you imagine yourself in a corporate library? Wearing a tie, big beard (it will grow back), sandals hidden behind your desk? And the chance to build, change, and offer reference service is worthy of a degree.

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