Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The End of the Beginning...

I have survived! My first semester of the masters' program at Syracuse University's iSchool ended last week, and after a few days' decompression I decided it was about time for a blog post. Technically, I started this blog as a class project, but I see no reason to kill it, especially when I'm finally granted the time to write!

I took three classes this past fall, and I'm still digesting them, but as this blog is a record of my library careers and interests, I thought to record some of the impressions taken from each of my classes in fall 2011.

IST511: Librarians rock in every way you can imagine. We make communities better just by being in them. Libraries (the buildings) need to change, and change quickly, or they'll disappear. This is the great challenge facing our generation, especially for those of us fortunate enough to be chosen by the profession.

IST605: People ask bad questions, but practice can make translating them easier. Finders have to enjoy the hunt. Reference is more like jazz than a symphony--lots of improvisation. Resources abound, but librarians need to be as familiar as possible with as many of them as possible in order to use them most effectively. Knowing what you're looking for before you start the search isn't strictly necessary, but helps.

IST614: Everything a business does is based on a set of assumptions, and that theory of business needs to be tested often. Management has to be principles-based, or you're flying blind. There are often many ways of achieving the same results, but equifinality doesn't always mean that all paths are equally efficient or effective.

Outside of classes, the semester proved to be full of opportunities. I've started blogging for InfoSpace, the official blog of the Syracuse iSchool, and I'm also involved with the SYR-LFL Project, where I've jumped into the deep end of web development (with some help, of course). I've made some wonderful friends, and my skill set is continually amplified by theirs.

A new semester is on the way--for now, to rest, to recover, and to recharge.

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