September 16, 2009

Why I am "Undefined"?

What makes me the "Undefined" Librarian? Well, there are a number of things. The first: I have trouble committing to one area of Librarianship. It is such a broad profession and there are so many things to focus on. Because I am a "newly minted" librarian there is no reason for me to box myself into just one corner. Last month, I attended a seminar on consumer health information and one of the speakers was a librarian with a broad background in the industry. She had worked in so many libraries. Public, Academic, Law, and many more. She had experience in reference, cataloging, and technical services just to name a few. She eventually ended up in health librarianship, but she did not start there. It was clear from her CV that she loved health librarianship, probably because she had made such a long journey to get there. She already knew what the other areas were all about; now is the time to do what she really wants to do. I have a feeling that my foray into the profession will be the same.

In a way, I was at an advantage not having a job when I began the MLIS in 2008. As a result, I took the classes I was interested in, not just the ones I knew would benefit the job I had upon graduating. In the end, I learned so much about the field and not just the things I thought I should be learning for the job I already had. I also took the opportunity to do some research and make a contribution to the profession while I was still in school.

Another reason I did not specialize and am now "Undefined" was because I knew what kind of an economy I would be graduating into. The Economy was well on its way into downturn mode by September 2008 when I began picking electives. I had no idea what types of libraries would be hiring by the time I finished in April. Because I did not specialize, I did not have my heart set on one library. Imagine if I had specialized in one type of service and this was the very type that was first on the chopping block during budget time? I would have been devastated! Instead, I remain flexible and willing to do any type of library work I can find. Ultimately, I am committed to libraries and information, period. Not just some libraries and some information.

The other main reason I am "Undefined" is that there are things I love about public libraries, and there are things I love about academic libraries. I have qualities that will benefit a special library and I have qualities that will benefit law libraries. I know that I can make myself fit into a role where I am needed. If I don't know everything about that position, I can learn the stuff that I am missing. It really is that simple.

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