Assumptions and Assertions: Revisited

Assumption: LIS 6010 will provide me with a well-rounded look at the LIS professions that I won’t necessarily get by working in a public library.  As a result, I will be able to use aspects of many information science professions to become better at what I do.

I have been working in the public library setting for almost 10 years.  I know my job backwards and forwards, but as far as information science goes, public libraries are all I know.  I look forward to broadening my horizons in this course and exploring new areas of LIS.  This is important to me because…

While LIS 6010 did provide me a look at LIS professions outside of public libraries, I feel as if I have only just scratched the surface.  It is going to take me far longer than just one semester to get a grasp on the many different types of libraries and positions that exist in the LIS profession. Assignments such as the professional journal and association comparisons, job analysis, and Think Tanks have done quite a bit to open my eyes to new facets of LIS.   I do still believe that having abroad spectrum of knowledge will help me to better serve the patrons in my community.  Being able to apply ideas that may not typically be associated with libraries to the work I do will help me to problem solve and come up with creative ideas and solutions.   

Assertion: Librarians should always be open to, and looking for, new ways to improve the way libraries are run.

There is a long and fantastic tradition of libraries in this country, and I truly believe that each librarian to sit behind a desk and direct someone to the information they need is aware and proud of that fact.  Toledo-Lucas County Public Library was established in 1838.  This year, we celebrate our 175th anniversary, and sometimes when introducing new ideas to my co-workers, it feels like it’s still 1838.  It has been my experience that sometimes librarians can be resistant to change.

With the invention of the Internet and the introduction of digital media, librarians can no longer afford to think that way.  As a profession, we must be open to new ideas and new opportunities to assert ourselves. By doing that our importance to society will not be forgotten, it will be expanded.  Providing new ways to obtain information proves that a library is aware of the cultural and technological changes that are occurring in the world, and that it is willing and able to adapt to them.

I absolutely still believe this.  However, what I have come to learn over the course of the semester is that many of my contemporaries believe the same and are working towards a common goal.  With the invention of libraries like the all-digital library in Texas, we are living through a significant shift in our professional world.  A lot of work must be put into overcoming profession-wide issues such as the digital divide, which is arguably at its largest in the field of public libraries, where I intend to spend my career (Krebeck, 2010).  However, I have been fortunate over the course of this semester to have been presented with many articles and bits of information that lead me to believe that this issue is being address and the majority of public librarians understand its importance.

Belief: Being a librarian is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. 

Every day I go into work and I get to help people.  Sometimes that looks like a storytime, sometimes a book recommendation, and sometimes it is assisting with a form of technology.  The list goes on.  The library offers a judgment-free place to ask for assistance, and it is extremely rewarding to be able to offer it.

Furthermore, you will be hard pressed to find a librarian anywhere who doesn’t have an extreme love of the written word.  That love creates a work environment that promotes the sharing of ideas, philosophies, and more.  Book recommendations seem to bounce off the walls, landing on any ears willing to hear them.  Program ideas are shared so often that there are never enough days in the year to provide them all.  We are a profession of people so eager to share what we know that there is not enough time in the day to do so.  This means that I am constantly challenged in my career to better myself, as well as the environment I work in.

Again, I absolutely still believe this to be true.  If anything, the way that my classmates have eagerly shared their thoughts, ideas, experiences and more over the course of the semester has proven this to be true.  You need look no further that the Think Tanks and Student Lounge discussion boards to see this in action.  We are fortunate to be working in a field that promotes and encourages the sharing of knowledge, as opposed to one that conceals it in the hopes of gaining an edge on the competition.  In the end, the truth is that in the LIS world, if one library wins, we all win. 

Kinney, B. (2010). The Internet, Public Libraries, and the Digital Divide. Public Library Quarterly, 29(2), 104. doi:10.1080/01616841003779718

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