As the year draws to a close, holiday parties are happening all the time. I don’t know about you, but I am sure that the majority of the conversations I will be having in the next two weeks will revolve around my decision to enter library school and the future of libraries. Looking back through the semester, I realize that my reasons for entering library school are different than my current reasons for wanting to be a librarian.
Before IST511 and Prof. Lankes’ Daveheart speeches (congrats on the full professorship!), I wanted to be a librarian because I liked helping people, I liked learning and teaching, and I loved books and computers. A full semester into library school and I now understand that being a librarian is very different than I had originally thought and infinitely more interesting. There are so many aspects to librarianship that I kinda knew but didn’t really think about like gaming, censorship, and freedom. When Scott Nicholson guest lectured in IST511 about gaming in libraries, I was interested. And then he said that anything can be subject to gamification, even school can be a game if you think about it as earning points (grades), gaining experience (going to class), beating bosses (pass those exams!), and levelling up (graduating). I realized how much I like playing games and how much games can be used to instruct, improve literacy, and create a community bond and that’s what libraries are all about!
In IST600, Jill Hurst-Wahl taught us about reference. I will admit that I was completely uninterested in reference at the beginning of the semester but now I look forward to doing research and helping people answer questions. I hope that I will have an opportunity to answer reference questions in my future library. In IST600 International Librarianship class, I learned about how librarians work to help communities around the world. I learned about the importance of considering the origin of information and the proper handling of it in regards to the culture it emerged from. I am completely enraged about the exploitation of indigenous knowledge and the idea that some huge US corporation can make millions and billions of dollars off of knowledge gleaned from small communities in (for example) South American rainforests without any accountability.
So now, after a semester of “Aha!” and “I see the connection!” moments, I’m really starting to understand what librarianship means. It means being a hero, an innovator, a thinker, a muse, and a valiant defender of freedom and civil rights. I am ready to face the bah-humbugs at the holiday parties because I am really and truly excited about my future and I want everyone to know: LIBRARIANS ARE SUPERHEROES.