Job Analysis Part 1

When I take time to analyze what I’d really like to be doing in the future utilizing my MLIS degree, I am drawn to a career in User Experience. That may manifest itself in a variety of ways, but eventually I would like to be involved in research that advocates for user experience principles. I’m still not sure what kind of information agency I would like to be working for in order to be in such a position, but something in the areas of academia or nonprofits would be ideal. Particularly, I would like to be involved in the design of information systems that help the public in some capacity.

In order to be a critical component in UX initiatives, my skills in emerging technologies will be pivotal. I will need to be aware of advances as well as cognizant of how individuals are reacting to those advances. As well, skills in front and back-end development of web-based platforms and applications will be of increasing importance. There are several other important skills needed, but they don’t necessarily involved learned activities. Being able to make decisions based on gathered data is important, but involves understanding demographics of people. Those things may not be classroom-learned skills. My ultimate goal would be to conduct research on the reasons why people use different forms of digital media and what that means to society. That career path may mean more education such as another Master’s degree or even a doctoral program where research is principal.

Depending on how a career in UX manifests itself, my future work environment is questionable. Definitively, I will be working with others to complete specific projects. Most likely it will be mostly men, but hopefully as the field develops, more women will be at the forefront of digital careers. This position will be technologically based, so tools of that nature will be available. Ultimately, UX can take on several different forms, but it’s certain that the field will be increasingly important and growing when I’m delving into its different facets.

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.

Personal Goals and Objections

As I’ve progressed a bit further into my LIS studies, I’ve realized a very important thing: I’m not sure I know what’s next. I am thrilled to be studying libraries, information and information systems, and the ethics behind librarianship. It is essential for me to consider the implications of a professional degree and what that means in the larger scheme of my career goals.

Currently, I work in communications with an emphasis in marketing. Although I enjoy several aspects of my work, I’m 100% positive that the current capacity that I am in is not a lengthy post. Instead, I can see myself working in the communications sector of a library, or perhaps dedicating my affinity for data and analytics in a role that is more suited for a professional librarian. All that in mind, I also have a growing desire to become more familiar with web development and the ways that people interact with information on the Internet.

Suffice it to say, I’m looking forward to my studies teaching me a bit more about where I’d like to see my future. With ample experimentation, interaction with my peers, and careful study, I foresee coming to an understanding about what makes me most passionate pertaining to libraries. 

 I will be pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Information Management with a specialization in either Information Analytics or Systems Implementation. I believe in due time, the specialization that makes the most sense for me will reveal itself. However, for now, I believe that I’d like to pursue a career that deals more in information and less in a library in the traditional sense. I love libraries, but I see myself utilizing my skills in another capacity.
 

Introduction

This blog will serve as a personal journal as I begin my studies in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Previous to this master’s degree, I received a Bachelor in English from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Much of my time in undergrad was spent studying literature of all kinds, but with a specific interest in young adult literature and gender studies. As well, I spent considerable time working with secondary education students and studying how literature can be used in language arts classrooms as well as across subject areas. This gave be a solid foundation in how literature affects the real lives of avid and reluctant readers.

Following my undergraduate studies, I began work with emerging technologies, social media, and web-based communities. This immersion in the digital world is what inspired me to pursue a more dedicated study of information, technology and its dispersal. These two experiences, one being my studies in English and the other being my professional career in a rapidly evolving technology sector create for an interesting mix when coming to terms with where my MLIS might take me. This blog will document that journey and hopefully aid as a space to really extrapolate what is important to me professionally, academically, ethically, and most importantly, what inspires passion in what I hope to be a lifelong career.

Before delving too far into the study of the information professions and where they may take me, it is important to assess some of my assumptions, assertions, or beliefs concerning such.

My first assumption is one that has actually already been disproved, but I do not know to what extent yet. Librarians are not just people who work with books. Libraries are not just building to store and organize books. Instead, a LIS career could create opportunities that do not even happen in a traditional library. I look forward to the study of alternative information professions and how they still hold to the obligations of what a librarian does for society as whole.

As well, I assert that libraries are in fact not “dying” as so many people believe. Instead, libraries are just in a flux of how to adapt to emerging technologies and how to continue to evolve at the same pace as the rest of the world. This assertion means that as future librarian, it is not only in my best interest, but also my duty to continue to learn about technology, especially Web 2.0 programs (and whatever might follow). This also means that the traditional definition of what a library is actually needs to change at the same pace (or preferably faster than) the rest of society. Libraries can NOT become stagnant, or they will lose their necessity.

I believe that if libraries continue to offer a service to their communities, they will never become obsolete. As future librarians, and practicing librarians, it is our duty to be comfortable with change. Those changes are what will keep library and information science relevant for years to come.

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