I have learned so much throughout this first semester that it seems unfair to try and sum it up in one blog post. The biggest takeaway that I have from this semester is how vast our field really is. It goes beyond the Public/Academic/School/Special Library categories, both in a broader and specialized sense. Within each library there are specialties within them. Public Service Librarians, Teen Service Librarians, Local History Librarians, Technology Librarians… I’ve even run across the title of Wine Librarian. On the other hand, LIS opens up a vast array of job titles other than librarian. Many of those specialties within the library lead to those external job titles, like Metadata Analyst or Freelance Researcher. LIS is a very flexible field, and specializing in an area of it will open up a lot of possibilities.
The next takeaway that I have is that even with such instability and hardship currently, libraries are evolving and will have a place in the future. Libraries that are embracing technology and becoming a “third place” are leading the charge, making it possible for other libraries to follow suit and stay relevant. Digitization projects are making collections physically smaller, while at the same time offering more content. Linking these online resources with other institutions is providing a greater resource for researchers and a greater community among specific topics.
The last takeaway that I have from this semester is that if we don’t have a career plan in place now, you need to have one quick. Thankfully I knew from the start where I wanted to go with my career, but I am concerned for my classmates who do not know what they want to do yet. The e-Portfolio assignment will be a good wake up call, filling out the Plan of Work made me realize how short of a time we have here at Wayne State. We had better be ready to hit the ground running when we get to the job market.
My views of my place within the LIS field have not changed very much, even though my view of LIS as a whole has. I really look forward to when I can bring my knowledge and expertise to a position within a library. My previous experience in libraries and history coupled with my MLIS will allow me to obtain a position that I will truly be happy with, even though it may not be the same job title that I set out to obtain at first. While I already feel ready to jump right into the job market, I do look forward to the additional “polishing” I will receive academically. This is just the beginning of a long career path, and the time will go by very quickly.