Way, way back at the beginning of this semester I kicked off my reluctant-blogger career by listing three assumptions that I held about the LIS profession. Though these have not changed in any radical sense in the time since, they have evolved noticeably as a result of my experience in this (and other) LIS courses.
My first assumption, that the LIS profession was going to give me the career I wanted, has – happily – not gone away. This is not to say that it hasn’t changed at all, however. As a direct result of the library visit assignment, where I visited two archives and conducted interviews with staff members, the assumption that there would be some sort of career that fit me within the LIS umbrella became the certainty that I wanted to work in museum archives. This conclusion was inspired in large part by my visit to the archive at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American history, but also by my time in Wayne State’s introductory archiving course, “Archival Administration.”
My second assumption, that LIS professions can be found almost anywhere, likewise hasn’t gone away – instead it has simply continued to expand. Everything from browsing job postings for one of my previous journal entries to reading about a classmate’s visit to the IRS library has made it increasingly clear to me that people and institutions that gather, preserve, organize and disseminate information. And with the increasing commoditization of information and the spread of digital content, the field can only continue to expand. I should also note that the final sentence regarding this assumption in my previous post certainly remains the same – I have a lot to learn about how big the world of LIS professions truly is.
My final assumption, that LIS professionals are both essential and powerful, has only been reinforced by the numerous examples I have encountered throughout the semester. My research on how the use of eBooks and eReaders in libraries has made people with print disabilities’ lives easier. Hearing the story of the woman who only managed to get her pension because of records found at an archive. Reading about and discussing how prison libraries are helping to teach inmates critical survival skills that will hopefully prevent them from back into old habits. Again and again this class has demonstrated to me the importance of the LIS profession and the power and responsibility that everyone in this profession has. LIS professionals can genuinely be life savers – and I seriously doubt the anything could change my belief (not just an assumption, anymore) about that.