Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Revisiting LIS assumptions

                Back at the beginning of the semester, I wrote a blog post about assumptions I had about the field of library and information science. Now it is that time to revisit them and see how my views have changed.

1)      You’ll never get rich being a librarian

This statement needs a bit of refining. Much like any other profession, the amount of training you have will dictate your salary. It is correct to say that a librarian with just a MLIS will not make an exorbitant salary; they will have a good salary to go along with a good job. On the other hand, a librarian who has a dual masters or PhD will be more specialized, and therefore require a higher salary. Therefore, it is possible to become rich as a librarian.

2)      Librarians have good job satisfaction

This has been confirmed time and time again. The librarians I met with during my visits to other libraries this semester have all shared the same enthusiasm and dedication to their jobs. While there is movement among the ranks, most of it is lateral or promotions, sprinkled with a few retirements. I have yet to meet a librarian dissatisfied with their career.

3)      There are more libraries out there than the general public knows about

I still agree with this wholeheartedly, but I would expand it to reflect how flexible our profession is. We are not limited to libraries and archives. This semester has opened my eyes to other career titles including Chief Information Officer, Metadata Analyst, Technology Coordinator, and Web Project Manager… The list goes on and on. Information is our occupation; libraries are just the biggest proportion of our field.

4)      It is not our job to censor information

This has been reaffirmed in spades. It was very enlightening to look at the different Codes of Ethics from the different professional organizations and learn the ins and outs of the system. In my research for the ethics paper, I was pleased to see that this was a universal belief among the organizations, at a State, National, and International level. We will run into patrons or trustees who strongly feel that certain materials do not belong, but we do not discriminate or censor any information and promise equitable access.

Personally, I felt that I had a pretty good perspective on what the LIS field was like. This semester confirmed the bulk of my assertions, and refined the others. For lack of a better comparison, it was like getting a new pair of glasses. I could see fine before, but now everything is much clearer.

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