Wednesday, September 7, 2011

...Should you choose to accept it...

And we're off! As a new library student, I've been assigned the task of blogging my way through the rest of the semester, and beyond. At least weekly, you'll see a new post here reflecting on lofty subjects such as information freedom, library science, and what the HECK I'm doing with my life.

Technically, this is a class project. We'll get to that.

Otherwise, I'll be reflecting on the field, my other interests, the conversations we're having outside of class, inside classrooms when professors aren't get the idea.

So as a class project, after each session of my Introduction to the Library and Information Profession, I'll be blogging. When things catch my eye around the net, I'll be blogging. When I get annoyed, excited, bothered, moved...well, you get the idea.

This week? I'm excited. I have a PURPOSE.
"The Mission of Librarians is to Improve Society by Facilitating Knowledge Creation in their Communities."

Read it, memorize it, love it. Ladies and Gentlemen, librarianship is now a vocation. Hallelujah!
Ok, librarianship has always been a vocation, but from where I'm sitting, this is a far more awesome idea than "take care of books and readers." More Crusader than Caretaker. (Admittedly, the crusaders likely destroyed a great many books and libraries in the swath of destruction they carved through western civilization...but I digress.)

Having a mission gives us a worldview. It's true, this mission comes directly from my professor and our textbook (Which he wrote.), but I've been trying to play devils advocate for a while, and it's just not working. I can't come up with a reason to disagree with this idea, and there's a host of reasons why I support it. Lists, however, are incredibly boring. And really, it all comes back to:

1) See "Vocation," Above.

Having a mission stated in plain language gives me a reason to become a librarian. (Not coincidentally, having a faculty espousing this type of library work inspired me to pick Syr as my training institution.) Part of the reason I seek an MS-LIS is the public-service aspect of librarianship, and having a stated mission gives me (and all of us) justification for that service.

Besides, it's an answer to "You need a master's degree for that? Perché?"

Going back to the "crusader" image above, missions inspire people to do great things. Having faith in an idea is traditionally the only way to accomplish a masterwork--that, and a healthy dose of narcissism. I've the latter in spades, so one can hope that I'll be well-served to sally forth and conquer. In a year or so, that is.

Fasten your seatbelts. It'll be an interesting ride.

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