Okay, how about an audience participation post for the new year?
When I tell people about this blog, I generally start with some contextual information on my motives for blogging at SJL, such as:
I came to library school believing that information work was essential for a just society and that libraries were in a strong position to serve large portions of the community.
I have been fortunate to find what I refer to as my “librarian kindred” – those who approach the profession with similar ideals and live/work in a way that furthers these goals of human rights, true democracy and social justice.
However, I have also been disappointed – first to find so little discussion of or emphasis placed on such ideals in my MLIS program. And since grad school, I have frequently wished there were more discussion of rights & justice issues in the professional library world as I have experienced it.
There is so much “niceness” that I occasionally despair about our ability to effectively confront issues – particularly those in which we ourselves are perpetuating the problem. So I started this blog, in hopes of stirring up some more of this discussion I have been hungering for.
Already, I have received several responses along the lines of:
Oh, how great – that’s why I went into librarianship too!
This has been quite heartening. I am not foolish enough, however, to be deceived by my own self-selected social/professional circle. I know many librarians out there did not come to library school with such starry-eyed idealism, and further am aware that the goals one holds when entering a grad program do not always correlate with those of those of the same librarian a few (or many) years down the pike and on the job.
When I think back to my first weeks of library school (just a few years ago), I remember some people purporting to have idealistic and lofty goals, some people coming for a secure profession, some people needing the MLIS to keep their job or get promoted after decades of library work, and others who just really liked books – or computers.
Why did you go to library school (or why didn’t you, if you didn’t)? How does or doesn’t that reason connect with the motivation for your current work?
No, I really want to know! Leave a comment with your original LIS motivations…and how they match up with what you work for today.