Mary Ellen Bates’ article brought up many of my concerns in being interested in pursuing librarianship. When I started playing with the idea and did a bit of research, I saw that an M.L.S. would be plenty usable so long as you were able to apply it in a variety of ways; my father, who often offers advice to me on such matters, expressed his concern similarly. Libraries are dying, he told me. Libraries are closing, cutting back, being replaced.
Yes, but that isn’t all!
As this article states, “practical research and information management skills” and “meaningful experience in using the professional online services” are necessary and relevant, too. I am one of those librarian cliches in my heart; I love books, I love paper, I love the tangibility. I typically eschewoveruseof certain technologies; I have issues with Kindles and things. Personal issues, though. I would be willing to learn to use them for professional reasons. But I am also everyone’s go-to Research Girl; somehow (and even before I professed an interest in library science) I was the one who would get called up so that I might look things up for them. Not just when they were at home, away from the computer; sometimes even when they were completely able to look it up themselves, but my looking up skills are apparently superior. And I like being this.
I really do enjoy mastering information technologies. I like computers. I like knowing how to figure these things out, how to organize information. I am maybe not the most organized person in real life (well, I sometimes leave things on my floor instead of putting them back where they belong) but I like trying to be organized (I insist on alphabetizing everything around me that can be alphabetized and also genre-sorting when applicable). I am interested in building on these tendencies for career-related purposes.
And I want to develop “a set of skills that translate into a variety of professional opportunities.” I would love to be a librarian, but I also am not opposed to using librarian skills in a different way.