The first of my four terms toward my MLIS has come to an end. Although I’m waiting for all of my marks to be posted to the online portal, I’m confident things will have gone well through to the end. My inactivity on this blog is by no means an indicator of my activity in classes and courses.
I entered in librarianship almost a year ago, and began the MLIS programme at Dalhousie University nearly five months ago. In that time I’ve encountered a professional culture that is as driven as it is collegial. Librarians care for their workplace, for their positions, and for the role that their positions and workplace have within society. There is a sense of purpose (and yes, service) to the culture, which I can appreciate. What I appreciate more, however, is the participatory nature of the profession. We don’t sit simply sit behind desks and engage electronic databases for the uninitiated. Rather, we find, gather, organize and synthesize information for ourselves and others. We do this in groups or individually, but often in groups. And we all help run the show. One is responsible for one’s work, and one is respected (and held accountable) for it. Professional development is key to our success, but so is experiential learning. Perhaps more than others, IS professionals understand the nature and importance of knowledge cultures and knowledge systems. We learn in our classes and we learn from our colleagues and cohorts. And we synthesize it all, for better or for worse, but mostly for the better.
This post wasn’t meant to sound like a affirmation of faith, but in some ways it does. So there it is – on this snowy December day in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, what the LIS profession is about. Note that I concentrated more on the librarian’s interactions with people as opposed to the librarian’s interactions with information and data. Without the people, the data is worthless. Without the people, there is no reason to gather and synthesize. I’m here for the people, and for that I’m happy.
Addendum: For what it’s worth, I contribute somewhat regularly to the CLA-CACUL’s Re:Generations blog. If you made your way here looking for blogs on LIS and academic librarianship, then Re:G might be decent reading for you.