A Library Is a WHAT??!?

or "What I Learned in My LIS 600 Foundations Course"

I went in dead certain that I was going to be a School Media Specialist. Yep - that's it! That's what I'm going to do. No questions about it. Have summers off. Be w/ my kiddos. Yadda yadda. Blah, blah, blah.

And then I took Foundations. About 1/2 way through, I knew the jig was up. My whole plan was blown to smithereens. And here's why:
  1. Defining a library was hard
  2. Defining a librarian was harder
  3. If Caves and subway cars and liquor stores can all be defined as a sorts of libraries, why do we need to go to school to get an MLS or MLIS to work in a "library"?
I'm guessing you are scratching your head right now. That's okay. So was I. One day in class, I even told my professor that I was so thoroughly confused that I had no idea what I was even doing or why I was here!

But it got better...well, sort of....

A few weeks later, I read the course readings on social science research (Babbie) and fell in love! I pondered going on for a PhD, but decided that I was in the right place at the right time. It was time to pursue the MLS at UNCG. I was ready to become a librarian in whatever form that might be and do research from the practioner side.

I conducted my first action research project and, found it so interesting, I decided to do another research project on my own time. I worked with another student and we examined the effects of circulation before and after storytime at a local library. We found that our hypothesis did not match our results, and although we were a bit disappointed, we were intrigued!

I wrote my first professional values statement. (Think teaching philosophy w/ a twist).

The bottom line: I learned to see libraries and librarians in a completely different light. I see the value of information access and intellectual freedom in a new way. I understand that good policy is made before crisis strikes. AND...I have learned that to be a successful librarian, I need to think about my patrons and how to meet their needs, not my own, when it comes to information access.

Open. Thoughtful. Action not Reaction. Future Forward.





I'm not much of an 'introductionist' but I will say that I like to start things. Beginnings are great and go by fast. Middles are slow and arduous at times. Endings are never near enough (unless you are on vacation...then it feels more like a "beginning" the whole time!).

I'm a first year grad student at UNCG's Masters in Library and Information Studies program. Well, let me rephrase. I'm a first years Visions student which means I'm testing the waters and haven't taken the final plunge. I decided to take 1 course at a time to make sure this was the right place. After taking the LIS 600 Foundations course, I'm pretty sure that I'm in the right place. I hope to be accepted this spring and "official" by the Fall '10.

I quickly realized that I didn't know much about libraries and librarians and the future of all that...I also realized that if I was going to remember everything from start-to-finish, I had better write things down.

I'll try to be cogent. I promise I will try and be consistent, although we are coming up on winter break, so I may be hit-n-miss thru the holidays. ; ) Bear with me...this is a journey of learning. I hope to share what I learn and by the time I'm through, have more than this humble blog to show for it.