Category Archives: Uncategorized

Revisit Assumptions/Assertions about LIS

After a semester of discussing, studying and thinking about libraries and their role in society, I don’t think many of my assumptions and assertions have changed all that much. Instead, I have become more convicted in my belief that libraries and information agencies are essential to society and the ways it will develop into the future. Really, information has no future without those committed to its preservation, storage, study, and dissemination.

That being said, my thoughts concerning what it means to be a librarian have evolved. I see now that the four walls and the books contained in within them do not make a library whole. No, it is the individuals committed to LIS principles like freedom of access and preservation that make a library whole. Along with that, LIS professionals can do so much more than work in an archive or manage a public library. Those professionals have a role to fulfill in information agencies and that role is essential to the profession surviving this influx of technological advancement.

After this semester, it is clear that all of my peers will make contributions to the LIS field, and I should not be ashamed that my aspiration is to work in Information Management. It is becoming more and more evident that both are necessary, but are also guided by the same principles. We are all concerned with the end-user or the patron and how those folks interact with that information. That interaction is founded in principles of freedom and accessibility; we are all just vehicles for those deeper concerns.

Blogging about Professional Blogs

a summary of these issues and
your personal observations and/or what you learned. Be sure to include links to the blogs, and
reference specific posts as needed.

Public Knowledge

This blog is a collaborative approach to talking about issues related to the freedom of information and protecting individuals right to privacy. This takes on many forms from discussions of violations and proposed bills, to discussion of artist rights concerning recordings. Through this, I learned that as keepers of information and knowledge, LIS professionals have a lot of responsibility to think about all of those involved in these issues. As well, I learned that there are several components of interest to these issues and it important for ALL LIS professionals to be concerned with these issues.

As technology develops, it seems like there are more opportunities to violate users’ and creators’ rights. Copyright laws take on so many nuances as they are pulled and prodded through different societal mechanisms, namely the government. As future information professionals, it is best that we are occupied with making sure that these laws continue to protect their intended individuals.

Not only is it important to consider the ways that traditional media is being attacked (or not), but as LIS professionals, even things like music are important to our professional integrity. The way that copyright interacts with the future of music¬†is just as important as a community trying to ban a book. Information is the LIS professional’s responsibility to protect.

Information Wants to Be Free

This blog by Meredith Farkas who is the General Education Instruction Coordinator at Portland State University explores several different aspects of academic librarianship, information access, and being a professional person generally. She is a writer, teacher, speaker, and academic. Her observations concerning life as a professional woman are heartfelt and important when considering what a dedicated career may look like. Not only does she delve into personal and professional issues concerning career, but she also talks about what it is like to be an instructor and how that informs her work as a librarian and a manager.

Her introspective work is important in understanding how all encompassing a professional career may be. Not that my career isn’t already overwhelmingly encompassing, but I realize as I develop as a professional, at some point I need to make distinctions about what is important to me. This may take the form of more intense study, or finding ways to find a happy medium between work and my “real life.” Right now, my real life is dominated by my career and more often than not, the activities I do for fun are extensions of my career. Perhaps that’s what blogging and academic writing means for Meredith.

Ultimately, this blog is most interesting because it is so human and full of soul. Her rant on the ways that Harvard Business Review is making it more and more difficult for her students to access the material is funny, but heart-wrenching. Talking about issues of access in the abstract is one thing, but having a relationship with Meredith’s writing and seeing these issues manifest in real ways is both interesting and important to my development as a professional.

Nerd Nite – Banned Book Week

Rather than focusing on the really intriguing topics that were discussed at Nerd Nite, I think it is important to address how wonderful the event is for the community. Dispelling the myths around why books are banned as well as delving into the depths of collecting books as objects followed by talking about the ways books are being published as ebooks just shed important light on how pivotal literature is to society. The crowd at Nerd Nite was uniting to discuss and celebrate books, and ultimately knowledge, to bring greater awareness to the ways that fear can hinder the development of those aspects in society.

The brief presentation on the progression of banned books caused discussions of the ways censorship manifests in society. As long as there have been books, there have been people trying to ban what makes them uncomfortable or disturbs them in some way. Everyone was perplexed by the materials that were on these lists, and as librarians, we are lucky enough to be on the front lines of defending their existence. Most importantly, having a community of like-minded individuals like the ones at Nerd Nite helps to perpetuate open discussions and embrace differences of thought are critical to creating a society that embraces the importance of those things.

Everyone at Nerd Nite was excited about books and their role in society. The fact that so many people had enthusiasm for something so important to me was really encouraging in creating a sense of community. What we all need in order to keep information free for all individuals is a community that values the access to that knowledge and those that make that possible. In communities like those in Detroit, it can manifest itself in many different ways. I see the open forum like the one developed at Nerd Nite as an active agent in that development.