Reading for Life

2014-01-05 08.09.30Hello Readers,

Notice the small tree.  In the library you’re never insignificant, even if you’re a little left of center and downright puny amid the majesty of the evergreens.
I’m a new online MLIS student at Wayne State University enrolled in a core graduate course, (LIS 6010) Introduction to the Information Profession. This course requires me to “maintain a personal journal as a blog” to discuss issues related to libraries and librarianship. This is my first foray into the blogging stratosphere. As I have stated my topics will be dictated primarily by class subject matter, but occasionally I will post related items of interest to adult bibliophiles for my goal is to re-enter the library field (after some time off) not as a support worker this time, but as a professional librarian upon graduation. I am a nontraditional LIS student with an interest in Aging Services (I am simultaneously enrolled in a graduate Certificate Gerontology Program); I hope to develop collections and programs with our nation’s changing “demographic structure” in mind. (Moody & Sasser, 2012) p xxiii

It is expected that I will evolve during this educational journey, here are some “assumptions and assertions that I have at this time in my development:
1. Assumption 1: Libraries are for school children. This is a shortsighted statement sometimes voiced to diminish the importance of libraries in communities.

I believe libraries are for everyone. From toddlers to seniors, the library provides life-long learning opportunities. Libraries inform, entertain, inspire, and train people from diverse backgrounds with a variety of interests via classes, programs and age-appropriate tools.

2. Assumption 2: Libraries are behind the times. This is often said in reference to the “emergence of the World Wide Web. (Hancock & Sheldon, 2008)

Not only are libraries not behind the times; libraries are in the forefront in many communities providing access to computers and other devices along with usage instruction serving to bridge the “digital divide.” (Parsons and Oja, 2012) Older adults sign up and show up for library sponsored computer classes chipping away at negative labels. ((Moody & Sasser).

3. Assumption 3: The unemployed and the homeless are the only adults who regularly visit libraries; this is a common refrain heard especially in urban settings.

While it is true that that library serves as a comfortable refuge for some; it provides a means to lift up another. No resume, no job. No computer. No means to complete an online application. Still, adults come to the library for business and pleasure; they come by themselves or with others. It is not our job to judge…amiable and efficient customer service is expected as well as ethical behavior and professionalism. (Haycock & Sheldon, 2008)

Assumption 4: Librarians and support workers don’t get along. This is often heard especially after local news reports surface regarding union tensions or the rights of workers in the workplace.

These issues are addressed in the proper forums; then work life goes on. Management, professionals, support workers all work together to operate library and serve the needs of the community at the highest level of efficiency possible with respect and appreciation for all. In fact, National Library Week is in April. During this week, one day is referred to as National Library Workers Day; a day to honor all library workers. (ala-apa.org/nlwd/ 2014.)

References:
Moody, H. R. & Sasser, J. R. (2012).  AGING: Concepts and Controversies. (7th Ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. p. xxiii, p. 127
Parsons, J.J. & Oja, D. (2014) New Perspectives on Computer Concepts. Boston, MA: Course Technology. P. 13.
Haycock K & Sheldon, B. (2008) The Portable MLIS, Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited p. 36
American Library Society website: http://ala-apa.org/nlwd/ Retrieved: January, 18, 2014

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