Final Reflections

April 20, 2013

I made it through my first semester in Wayne State University’s MLIS program and now feel more confident that I will succeed throughout the rest of my time in the program and beyond.  For my final post I will reflect on what I have learned, what I can bring to my current and future jobs, and how my attitudes and understanding of LIS has evolved since I began the program.

A few things I have learned

I have learned just how versatile a MLIS degree can be.

I have learned about all the different fields within Library Information Science and Information Science and all the professional organizations geared towards them.  It seems there is a professional organization for pretty much every facet of LIS.  If it were not for this course and previous blog posts I may not have found out that there is a Special Library Association or even a Wine Librarians Association.

Through researching my own library leader and reading about my classmate’s leaders I have learned that LIS has had many pioneers who helped to shape and define the field throughout the years.

I have learned about the importance of technology and adapting with the time and how it relates to LIS and is necessary for any library or information agency to continue to exist.

What can you bring to your professional position in the future and/or your current workplace?

Something new I can bring to my current job and any future position is knowledge of ethics and values.  I never really thought about librarians and information professionals as having a code of ethics and values to which they adhere.  I would say that the library code of ethics as outlined by the ALA is one of the things I appreciated learning about the most.  Every MLIS graduate should know these ethics and values regardless of where they end up working, be it a public library, corporate library, or outside the library all together.  The two values that are most important to me are equal and unbiased access to information and privacy.  Now, I have knowledge of the ALA’s ethics and values that can be applied to my current job and any future jobs.

I have also learned more about technology thanks to my other class LIS 6080.  I thought that I had a good understanding of basic technology, especially productivity software, Microsoft Office but I really had no idea of all the features these programs have.  Learning about Office more in depth has already helped my in my current job when I had to help make a spreadsheet and a flyer.  What I learned in LIS 6080 will no doubt be beneficial during my time in the MLIS program, my current job, and any future job.

How have your perceptions and attitudes changed and developed across the semester?

A favorite quote I have come across this semester is “Getting a library degree is the best move I ever made. It opens up so many avenues.  If you’re interested in movies or food or almost anything, it’s the perfect chance to marry something you’re passionate about with a career as a librarian” (Wallace, 2002).  When I first started the program I did not realize just how versatile a MLIS degree can be; it makes me feel more a little more confident that I will be able to find a job after graduating, even if it is not in a historical archive, as I had previously envisioned.  I would still like to work in the National Archives, but seeing all the possibilities has started to change my mind.  Quite frankly, with all the job possibilities out there I may not be able to make up my mind.  At least I have a little more time in the program to get a better idea of how I want to use my degree.  Working on my plan of work has helped me at least focus my interests, which are digital content management and preservation.  Hopefully as I take my electives and other core classes I will develop a better, more focused idea of what I may want to do.  Right now, I feel like I will be very versatile in my job search, which may find me more opportunities because I will not be too picky about the position or location.

In what ways have your understanding about the role of the information professional changed or developed?

My understanding of the information professional’s role has not changed during the course of this semester; it has however developed.  As we have talked about in class, sometimes employers do not even know to look for a MLIS graduate; but the skills we learn really are transferable to a number of positions you might not even realize were a possibility.  We are in the business of information, finding, organizing, and making it accessible.  That is why MLIS graduates are referred to as information professionals these days.  Librarian can be considered an antiquated word that comes with the stigma of a being an old woman in glasses who checks out books and tells noisy children to “sshhhh.”  Information professional much better describes what we do. 

Now, I understand in greater detail the role of information professionals.  We are good at finding and organizing information to make it accessible, and according to Omundson “have ninja-like problem solving skills (2012).  Personally, I love trying to find information, it s kind of like “History Detectives.”  I do also like organizing it and making it easily accessible.  Maybe I have a future as a cataloguer.

References

Omundson, S. (December 1, 1012). Not Your Traditional Librarian. OLA Quarterly. v. 18, no. 4, p19-21. http://www.olaweb.org/assets/OLAQ/olaq_18no4.pdf

Wallace, L. (March 2002). Places an MLS can take you. American Libraries. p44-48.             http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/sites/ala.org.educationcareers/files/       content/careers/paths/al_mls.pdf

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