Final Reflections

This entire class has been very informative. In my Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections, I referenced the Ethics project and Professional/Professionalism discussion board that were part of this class. These two assignments still remain the two most valuable assignments. In addition, I really appreciated doing the library visits. This project pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me think differently about the area that I work and live in. There are so many more opportunities out there than I anticipated.

The Team Blog project was another big assignment that made me think that much more about the Library and Information Science field. Please follow the link provided to access my team’s blog about the future of libraries.

http://lis6010teamblog.blogspot.com/

I came into this class with a working knowledge of the Library and Information Science field. While many of my perceptions, attitudes, and understanding have remained the same, the depth of my knowledge has increased. I have a broader understanding of Library Science and the knowledge I possess is much deeper. I am able to apply concepts to the real world. I really took the opportunity to analyze the Library Bill of Rights while working on my Ethics project; helping me to understand why my library system has certain policies and procedures in place. I appreciate the role of the information professional more than I did at the beginning of the semester. I value the importance of the Master of Library and Information Science degree. I am excited about future opportunities that will be afforded to me based on the completion of my degree.

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Revisit Assumptions/Assertions about LIS

I took a look back at one of my first posts “Assertion, Belief, and Assumptions.” In my original post, I focused primarily on the role and importance of libraries and how that is changing. I still feel that the information posted at the beginning of the semester is accurate. I do; however, feel more hopeful than I did at the beginning of the semester.

When I started working on my degree, I was coming in with a very narrow view of Library Science. The only exposure I’ve had to the profession is through my place of employment. While I have learned a lot along the way, I am beginning to recognize biases and prejudices in the information I have been exposed to. I am starting to see the bigger picture and feel much more hopeful about our field as a whole. I have more respect than ever for the Master of Library and Information Science degree and value its place and importance in our field. I no longer feel that this degree will simply be a matter of putting in the time to get the piece of paper. I expect it to be much more than that. When my studies are complete and I have earned my degree, I will feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

I have enjoyed working with my colleagues and find it refreshing to be around so many people who are just as excited about this field as I am. It is encouraging to see that we are all thinking about the future of libraries and the role that we will play in them. We realize evolution is necessary and embrace our changing role. We are the future of libraries . . . and our future is bright!

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Blogging about Professional Blogs

I really put a lot of time into figuring out which two blogs I was going to invest my time and energy. I ended up choosing two that really seemed to complement each other. Both have a variety of authors, so you get a lot of good posts and feedback. They also cover a lot of territory related to the Library and Information Science field. The information shared is relevant and interesting.

 

Blog #1 – In the Library with the Lead Pipe www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org

2012 Salem Press Library Blog Award

This blog focuses on anything related directly to libraries. It is fun and clever. While the posts only come every other Wednesday, they are full of good information. My favorites are listed below:

 “What I Wish I’d Known About Building Teen Services From Scratch” http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/what-i-wish-id-known-about-building-teen-services-from-scratch/

This post was very relevant to me since I am the YA Librarian and have worked hard to build a program at Zauel, I was very interested in the ideas and advice that the author shared. I really liked the idea of shelving books face out to increase circulation. I want to start doing this. I, like the author am a big numbers person. I collect any and all data I can to support/prove why things do and don’t work. I highly recommend this post if you work with young adults in any capacity.

 “Adventures in Rhetoric: The Traditional Library” http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/adventures-in-rhetoric/

This post relates directly to our class. The author discusses what a traditional library is and what the future of libraries will be. Worth a glance.

 “Killing Sir Walter Scott: A Philosophical Exploration of Weeding” http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/killing-sir-walter-scott-a-philosophical-exploration-of-weeding/

Who doesn’t love weeding? Am I right? If you’ve never weeded anything but your garden, you’ll find this post full of good information. If you’ve recently weeded or have an upcoming weeding project in a collection that you’re responsible for, you’ll empathize with the author’s sentiments.

 

Blog #2 – Letters to a Young Librarian http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com

This blog is aimed directly at new/newer librarians. I found it very interesting because many of the posts deal with grad school and earning your MLIS. The blog is funny, motivating, and enlightening. Posts are much more prolific than the other blog I followed. I pulled out a few that really resonated with me:

 “Recruitment from the Other Side of the Table” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013_05_01_archive.html

Great advice for getting and interview and interviewing.

 “What the Heck am I Doing Here?” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-heck-am-i-doing-here-by-ruth-frasur_23.html

How did we end up earning our MLIS? We all have different stories. This author shares the not-so-direct path they took to earning their MLIS.

 “Acronyms, Jargon and Other Obfuscation” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/05/acronyms-jargon-and-other-obfuscation.html

OMG. LOL. Found myself guilty of this. MelCat, OCLC, MLIS, ALA . . . You get the idea!

 “What I Wish I’d Known in Graduate School” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-i-wish-id-known-in-graduate-school.html

Need I say more?

 “Overcoming Gaps” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013_07_01_archive.html

This post deals with showing your value and making the transition from a previous career to a life in libraries.

 “It’s Not about Seeing, It’s About Being Seen” http://letterstoayounglibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/07/its-not-about-seeing-its-about-being.html

This a succinct blog about the importance of customer service in libraries and staffing the reference desk.

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Comparative Analysis of Professional Journals

The two journals chosen are the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication and the Journal of Library Administration. These journals are both peer-reviewed, which I think is very important.

A peer-reviewed publication is one that is written by a scholar or expert. The author’s credentials are given and sources used in the articles are cited. The articles are detailed and focused in a certain area of study. Both of the journals I chose are focused in the field of Library and Information Science.

Popular articles are often written by freelance writers or journalists. They are sometimes unsigned, so we don’t know who wrote them or what, if any, credentials they possess. Articles are attention-grabbing, using lots of pictures, and appeal to a mass group of people.

Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication (JLSC)

Frequency: Quarterly

Intended Audience: Library Professionals – Specifically, scholarly communication librarians, institutional repository managers, digital archivists, digital data managers and related professionals.

Kinds of Materials Published: Scholarly Communication, Open Access, Library as Publisher, Library/Press Partnerships, Policy Issues, Digital Collection Management, Institutional and Discipline-Specific Repositories, Digital Curation, Technological Developments and Infrastructure, Intellectual Property, Resources, Skills, and Training, Interdisciplinary or International Perspectives

Interesting Characteristics: This journal covers an area that is quite foreign to me, but of great interest. “JLSC is particularly interested in the intersection of librarianship and publishing, and the resulting roles for libraries in both content dissemination and content creation” (JLSC, Aims & Scope section, para. 2). This journal is open-access, so you do not need a subscription to view the articles. Simply visit http://jlsc-pub.org/jlsc/.

Journal of Library and Information Science (2013). Aims & scope. Retrieved from http://jlsc-pub.org/jlsc/aimsandscope.html.

Journal of Library Administration

Frequency: Eight Times Per Year

Intended Audience: Library Professionals – Specifically, library administrators/management.

Kinds of Materials Published: “The Journal of Library Administration provides information that administrators need to efficiently and effectively manage their libraries. The journal seeks out the most modern advances being made in professional management and applies them to the library setting” Taylor & Francis, Aims & Scope section, para. 1).

Interesting Characteristics: “Many volumes of the journal are thematic, which give you detailed, practical coverage of a specific topic in each issue” (Taylor & Francis, Aims & Scope section, para. 2). Articles are written from authors around the world and the journal is internationally recognized. You must have a subscription to view journal articles.

Taylor & Francis (2013). Aims & scope. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/action/aboutThisJournal?show=aimsScope&journalCode=wjla20#.UfBfRI3D-U.

Important Similarities: Peer-reviewed, directly related to the Library and Information Science field, deal with relevant issues, future-focused

Important Differences: Frequency of publication, cost of publication (free vs. subscription), cover different areas of Library and Information Science field (information vs. administration)

The Library and Information Science field is a very broad field that can be covered in numerous ways by a variety of authors/sources. The field is evolving, and with this change come more opportunities for areas of concentration. Librarians are a well-educated bunch versed in the exchange of information. There is an ample supply of communication outlets.

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Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

This semester has been very challenging. Remembering how to balance school and work – and then adding a family and house into the mix – proved interesting, but I have it figured out. This semester I took two classes, LIS 6010 (Introduction to the Information Profession) and LIS 6080 (Introduction to Technology). I have enjoyed both classes and learned a lot along the way. I will be including a budgeting assignment from my LIS 6080 class in my E-portfolio on the advice of my professor.

The two assignments that stand out in my mind from LIS 6010 are the ethics assignment and the discussion board about defining professional/professionalism. I feel like both of these assignments really made me think about things as a librarian; they both provided me with core knowledge of librarianship that I have since referred to in my occupation. Since I am currently employed as a Library Assistant, I did not expect to learn a lot about how libraries work. This was not the case; however, and I have referred back to both of these assignments throughout the course of my daily work to better understand policies and procedures.

I have included the PowerPoint presentation that I created for my ethics assignment. Please feel free to view it. I am very proud of my work.

 

Below is my response that I posted to the discussion board defining professional/professionalism. This was a tough assignment for me to complete. It really made me think.

Post 1 of 3

Well, here goes nothing. Let me start by saying that I feel like I’m on a high wire without a safety net. I am handling this first part of my discussion all on my own without referring to any outside sources. So, what does “professionalism” mean to me? Be forewarned, my definition of “professionalism” coexists with what I define as a “profession” and being “professional.”

Let’s just say that professionalism is the way that anyone handles themselves in a work situation. I was raised with the belief that everyone (and I mean everyone) is created equally. No one person or profession (as long as it’s legal) is more valuable than another. It takes all of us working together to make this thing here on earth work. At first glance, this belief may seem like it’s not really related to professionalism, but for me it is. I’ve tried to detach from this belief to answer this week’s post, but it keeps coming back to me.

If professionalism means that someone possesses a certain level of knowledge and holds a skill set that lends them to performing their job at the highest level possible, can’t this apply to all jobs? For example, if I have to return something at Target and the person handling my return has no idea of what they are doing and treats me poorly, I will say that they lack professionalism. They are non-professional. If I return something at Target and the person handling my return takes care of my “problem” with ease – not complaining, working efficiently and providing great customer service, I will say that this person has a high level of professionalism. Simple enough. The person employed at Target who is trained to be professional and who handles my transaction is much more valuable to me than any doctor or lawyer ever would be in this same situation. I’d love to see my doctor try to return my Target bikini quickly, efficiently, and with a smile on her face. Not gonna happen. My point being that anyone has the potential to be a professional in their given job; people who are professionals in one profession are non-professionals when trying to complete a job that they are unfamiliar with. Simple enough.

Here is the part of the equation that I am grappling with. Is formal education a prerequisite to being a professional? What about all of the other characteristics mentioned in Dr. Maatta’s lecture? Can one work in a profession without being a professional? Can that same person exhibit professionalism? Is the Target employee who has no education higher than a high school diploma (I realize that I am stereotyping here and that many Target employees probably hold an MLIS degree) capable of being a professional within the profession of customer service, and exhibiting professionalism?

At this point, I personally feel that if the value is there (i.e. someone has life experience, is naturally talented/gifted, has been trained, is simply very good at what they do, etc.), the person exhibits professionalism within a given profession, and is a professional. That would mean that I consider all of us currently employed working as librarians as professional librarians working within a profession and exhibiting professionalism –  as long as we’re darn good at what we do. I say this with great reservation. I respect the research and information compiled by other professionals and want to consider it before I make my final stand. I also want to thank Christian for sharing the information that he did in his post regarding levels. This is an important point to recognize.

I have my second post almost complete. There’s so much to consider. I cannot guarantee that my second post won’t contradict this post. This post comes from my heart. My next post will come from my head. I’m hoping my third post will be a balance of the two.

Post 2 of 3

Are we as librarians professionals? That is the question. I cannot believe how much I have struggled with this answer this week. My heart wants to say unabashedly yes, but I’m not so sure.

I’ve researched this question online only to find myself more confused. Some say yes, others no. Mary Ellen Quinn stated in American Libraries:

Although it seems that the question of whether librarianship is a profession might have been settled when Melvil Dewey declared it to be one back in 1876 (the same year the American Library Association was formed) the debate goes on (2010, p. 50).

The best way I could answer this question was to break it down into pieces. To do this, I am using the slides that Dr. Maatta developed for this week’s lecture. Dr. Maatta titled her slides “Characteristics of a Profession” and credits Bob Kizlik with the material she used to develop her slides.  I will cover all 12 characteristics in this discussion, offering my input as to why I think librarianship/library and information science does or does not exhibit each characteristic.

“Professions are occupationally related social institutions established and maintained as a means of providing essential services to the individual and the society” (Maatta, 2013, p. 6).  Librarianship fulfills this characteristic. We work in libraries, which are directly related to our occupation. Through these buildings and in the role we serve, we are helping society as a whole and individuals within that society. While some may argue the point, the majority of society would agree that we do provide valuable services.

“Each profession is concerned with an identified area of need or function (for example, maintenance of physical and emotional health, preservation of rights and freedom, enhancing the opportunity to learn)”  (Maatta, 2013, p. 6). Again, I feel that librarianship fulfills this role. One only needs to look as far as Ranganathan’s  Five Laws: Books are for use; Every reader his book; Every book its reader; Save the time of the reader; A library is a growing organism. This is a profession using “laws” to identify our main purpose.

“The profession collectively . . . possesses a body of knowledge and a repertoire of behaviors and skills (professional culture) needed in the practice of the profession; such knowledge, behavior, and skills normally are not possessed by the nonprofessional” (Maatta, 2013, p. 6). This gets touchy. Does holding a Master of Library and Information Science degree make one a professional? Is an MLIS the source of our knowledge? Are “librarians” without an MLIS considered nonprofessionals? Does working in a library as a non-degreed “librarian” make one a professional? This all seems so subjective to me.  My personal opinion is that working in a library and receiving training from degreed librarians does lend itself to making an individual a professional. The knowledge, behavior, and skills are learned. My Branch Head, Amy Churchill, has mentioned previously that when she hires, she looks for people who have skills that cannot be taught. She is referring to people who are outgoing, quick-thinking, organized, good multi-taskers, and great communicators. She feels that anyone can earn an MLIS, but it is these inherent traits that make someone valuable to the library system (A. Churchill, personal communication, May 23, 2013). Makes me think – are any of us professionals?

“Members of the profession are involved in decision making in the service of the client” (Maatta, 2013, p. 6). This is a no-brainer. We make decisions to help our patrons every day. Whether it’s a book recommendation, putting a request through, or helping with research, we make decisions for and with our patrons numerous times a day. This characteristic goes on, however, stating, “These decisions are made in accordance with the most valid knowledge available, against a background of principles and theories, and within the context of possible impact on other related conditions and decisions” (Maatta, 2013, p. 6). When I think about this in terms of a doctor or lawyer, I see it clearly. It all seems a bit heavy for librarians. True, we do adhere to Ranganathan’s laws, but does the context that we work within hold any notable impact? Librarians are not required to carry malpractice or professional liability insurance like doctors and lawyers. Is this because our decisions do not impact others on a level intense enough to be deemed professional? After all, librarians are not even licensed.

“The profession is based on one or more undergirding disciplines from which it builds its own applied knowledge and skills” (Maatta, 2013, p. 6). Again, I refer back to Ranganathan’s Five Laws. Librarianship is a disciplined field. We have built professional organizations and accredited curriculum around these laws.

“The profession is organized into one or more professional associations which . . . are granted autonomy in control of the actual work of the profession and the conditions that surround it . . . “(Maatta, 2013, p. 6). There are numerous library associations on both national/international and state/regional levels. For this discussion I will focus exclusively on the American Library Association (national level). As Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) stated in its web biography, “Dewey changed librarianship from a vocation to a modern profession. He helped establish the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876; he was its secretary from 1876-1890 and its president for the 1890/1891 and 1892/1893 terms” (“How One Library Pioneer Profoundly Influenced Librarianship,” n.d.). The American Library Association (ALA) has grown to play an increasingly important role in libraries and librarianship. “ALA addresses issues at a federal level for our members, including civil liberties, intellectual freedom, privacy, copyright, government information, library funding, federal library programs, and internet access” (What ALA Does section, para. 4, n.d.). The ALA website goes on to explain, “ALA works for its members by offering conferences, continuing education, certifications, and employment services. We promote the profession by setting standards of accreditation for library schools and by recruiting new library workers.” (What ALA Does section, para. 5, n.d.)

“The profession has agreed-upon performance standards for admission to the profession and for continuance within it” (Maatta, 2013, p. 7).  To support my belief that librarianship fulfills this characteristic, I turn to the Library of Michigan. On their website, the Library of Michigan explains the qualifications required to meet certain levels of librarianship. Level One requires a master’s degree from an accredited library school and four years of paid library work. Level Two requires a master’s degree. Level Three requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and completion of the beginning workshop offered through the Library of Michigan. Level Four requires a high school diploma, completion of the beginning workshop offered through the Library of Michigan, and one-year of paid library work (“Certification,” 2009). This same bit of information, however, does not perfectly fit the characteristic that, “Preparation for and induction into the profession is provided through a protracted preparation program, usually in a professional school on a college or university campus” (Maatta, 2013, p. 7). One can achieve a Level One certification from the Library of Michigan without attending a college or university.

“There is a high level of public trust and confidence in the profession and in individual practitioners, based upon the profession’s demonstrated capacity to provide service markedly beyond that which would otherwise be available”  (Maatta, 2013, p. 7). To confirm that librarianship does, in fact, include this characteristic, I turn to my personal experience working at the adult reference desk. I receive numerous compliments and much gratitude for the job that I do every day. People do value us. They trust that we will give them the right answer and because we consistently do provide accurate information, our patrons have confidence in us. My patrons tell me this on a consistent basis. It is this feedback that I am basing my claim.

“Individual practitioners are characterized by a strong service motivation and lifetime commitment to competence” (Maatta, 2013, p. 7). The fact that many of us already hold positions in libraries but are still seeking an MLIS seems to confirm this characteristic. We are constantly bettering ourselves and are motivated to provide the best service possible. By nature, librarians are learners. We value education and appreciate academia. In addition to these inherent personality traits, we are guided by the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. For a complete listing of the code of ethics, please visit this link: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.

“Authority to practice in any individual case derives from the client or the employing organization; accountability for the competence of professional practice within the particular case is to the profession itself” (Maatta, 2013, p. 7). We receive our authority to help patrons and disseminate information from our home library. In addition to receiving authority from the library, we must also have permission from our patrons. Because our patrons are coming to us and asking us for help, they are passively giving us this authority. Our competence can be measured by Ranganathan’s Five Laws, the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics, our patrons, and our home library – to name just a few sources.

“There is relative freedom from direct on-the-job supervision and from direct public evaluation of the individual practitioner” (Maatta, 2013, p. 7).  In my experience, I am not ever under direct supervision. Our reference desks are staffed by one person at a time – there isn’t ever any overlap. My supervisor never observes me. Our patrons love to offer their compliments and criticism, but we are still quite shielded. Rarely does anything positive or negative result from our patrons’ kind, or not so kind, words.

Breaking down the characteristics of a profession helped me a lot. I am very proud to say that after a thorough analysis I do believe library and information science is a profession.  Librarians are professionals. Let’s hope that we all exhibit a high degree of professionalism.

American Library Association (n.d.). What ALA Does. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/membership/whataladoes

Library of Michigan (2009, October 1). Certification. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan/0,2351,7-160-18668_18685-226645–,00.html

Maatta-Smith, S. (2013). Professionals & Professionalism: What Makes Library & Information Science a Profession? [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.wayne.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4099460-dt-content-rid-2629061_2/xid-2629061_2

Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (n.d.). How One Library Pioneer Profoundly Influenced Librarianship. Retrieved from http://www.oclc.org/dewey/resources/biography.en.html

Quinn, M.E. (2010, November-December). The MLS Project. American Libraries, 41 (11-12), 50+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA243960196&v=2.1&u=lom_pls&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w

Post 3 of 3

Why is our profession important? Richard E. Rubin stated in Chapter One of The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts, “Libraries are not important; they are essential” (2008, p. 3). I may be a bit biased, but I have to agree with Rubin. Of course, this begs the question, “Why are libraries essential?” Jennifer Johnston stated in her article titled “Perspectives, Insights & Priorities: 17 Leaders Speak Freely of Librarianship”:

Those of us working in libraries immediately realize their importance to communities: they store special collections and government records; allow the public free information access; offer a central gathering place for people and organizations; and serve as cultural and educational centers where individuals, students, children, and families can meet a famous author, get help with homework, or learn to read (2006, p. 414).

This quote only begins to touch on what libraries offer their communities. We are vital places. We collect, record, organize, house, and disseminate information. We offer free access to all of this information, along with free computer use. People can gather for a variety of reasons inside our buildings. We offer valuable programming to our residents – some fun, some informational, and some educational. We have resources available to our community that no one else offers. No one.

With the current economy, I think that libraries serve a more important role than ever. The American Library Association (ALA) recently released the “2013 State of America’s Libraries: A Report from the American Library Association.” ALA detailed the following:

Libraries offer resources often unavailable elsewhere during an economic “recovery” that finds about 12 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed. Three-fourths of public libraries offer software and other resources to help patrons create resumes and employment materials, and library staff helps patrons complete online job applications (ALA Library Fact Sheet 6, 2013).

We, as librarians, know our profession is important. Do others? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. In his article “Why Libraries Matter and How We Can Save Them” David Morris claimed:

Almost two thirds of us carry library cards. About half of us visit a public library at least once a year, many of us much more than once. Library use varies by class and race and by age and educational level, but the majority Americans—blacks and Latinos and whites, old and young, poor and rich, high school dropouts and university graduates, use the public library (2011).

We are valuable to our communities. For a fun experiment, visit http://www.saginawlibrary.org/wp-content/service_worth.php and calculate a library’s worth. A library’s value, be it monetary or otherwise, is what makes our profession important.

American Library Association (n.d.). (2013). ALA Library Fact Sheet 6. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet06

Haycock, K. and Sheldon, B. (2008). The portable MLIS: Insights from the experts. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Johnston, J. (2006). Perspectives, Insights & Priorities: 17 Leaders Speak Freely of Librarianship. Libraries and the Cultural Record, 41(3), 414+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA152694692&v=2.1&u=lom_pls&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w

Morris, D. (2011, May 6). Why Libraries Matter and How We Can Save Them. The Public Library Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/the-public-library-manifesto

I have a good grasp on library work in general coming into this program because I have real-world library experience. The school work I am doing now is more of a compliment and enhancement of the knowledge I currently possess. There have not been any big surprises and I still think and feel very much the same as I did at the beginning of the semester. Please do not misconstrue this as me minimizing the impact that my coursework has had on me; instead it has enlightened me in ways that I would not otherwise have experienced. It is making library work seem new and fresh. It has been great to be surrounded by positivity in my field. As I move forward, I will continue to seek out areas that are not familiar to me so that I can continue to grow and learn. I have a genuine thirst for knowledge and finding answers – I am, after all, a librarian.

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Job Analysis Part 2

For this post, I am focusing solely on the more realistic of the two dream jobs mentioned in my previous post. I am focusing on the Librarian position available with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Skills that I see as being necessary are general library skills, including: research, training, briefing, technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, special collections), and customer services. All of these areas are mentioned in the CIA posting. I feel that they are skills easily obtained while earning a Master of Library and Information Science degree and while working in a library setting, be it public, academic, medical, legal, corporate, etc. After working in a public library for three years, I feel that I already possess general knowledge of all of these skills. This knowledge will only grow as I earn my degree and continue working.

In applying for this position, I would make sure that my resume clearly illustrates how I meet all of these skills – giving examples of each where I could within my resume and cover letter. In addition, I would choose one of the aforementioned skills (in my case research) and make sure that I highlight that as one of my many strengths.

I would mention in my resume that I was a member of the Alpha Mu Gamma National Foreign Language Honor Society in University, but would not stress it as a main selling point because my French is desperately lacking. To build myself in this area, I would research what languages are most needed within the CIA and learn one or two.

I think that getting as much experience in the public sector would serve me well, as would completing my Master of Library and Information science degree with a concentration in research (or related field). I also think that getting some government experience would be a good thought – even if it’s just an internship or volunteer work. Something that may give me an advantage.

There is a broad salary range ($48,682 to $95,026). I have to believe that is either based on experience or that the starting salary is $48,682 going up in specified steps over a set period of time and capping out at $95,026. That would be a good interview question.

I think that offering to be willing to relocate would be appreciated in this position. Therefore, I think that a mature family or single person would probably be more seriously considered.

I would not be concerned with the medical exam, psychological exam, polygraph interview, extensive background investigation, or drug test. Perhaps this would give me an advantage over a large part of our population. I am a U.S. citizen, so this is a non-issue.

I revisited my Personal Goals and Objectives post from early in the semester. I still feel that this post 100% fits where I am at in my life. This will remain my focus. If I were to seriously consider working for the CIA in the future, the only thing I would give more thought to would be reconsidering my certificates, getting some political experience, and learning one or two new languages in addition to earning my Master of Library and Information Science. I feel that I am on the right path, even if that path leads me to a life of espionage.

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Job Analysis Part 1

Dream Job #1: Taken directly from the CIA website:  https://www.cia.gov/careers/opportunities/support-professional/librarian.html

Librarian
Work Schedule: Full Time
Salary: $48,682 – $95,026
Location: Washington, DC metropolitan area

Librarians are the U.S. Intelligence Community experts in acquiring, researching, exploiting, and managing information sources. The Open Source Center is seeking Librarian applicants with a passion for innovation, customer service, and library science expertise to join the CIA Library. Our Librarians play an essential role in the intelligence mission by acquiring, researching, and making accessible the most critical information resources that meet CIA and Intelligence Community information requirements. Librarians also have opportunities to serve as embedded, or forward deployed, information experts in CIA offices and select Intelligence Community agencies. The CIA Library maintains strong relationships with the Library of Congress, other Intelligence Community libraries, select academic institutions, and other public and private sector institutions and information resource providers.

Applicants interested in a Librarian position must have strong skills in at least one area of the library science profession: research, training, briefing, technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, special collections) or customer services.


Minimum requirements include a Master’s degree in Library or Information Science, excellent communications skills, strong critical thinking/analytic skills, documented knowledge and/or job experience in at least one facet of library science. Applicants with reading and research ability in a foreign language are desired.

All applicants must successfully complete a thorough medical and psychological exam, a polygraph interview and an extensive background investigation. US citizenship is required.

To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months. The issue of illegal drug use prior to twelve months ago is carefully evaluated during the medical and security processing.

Important Notice: Friends, family, individuals, or organizations may be interested to learn that you are an applicant for or an employee of the CIA. Their interest, however, may not be benign or in your best interest. You cannot control whom they would tell. We therefore ask you to exercise discretion and good judgment in disclosing your interest in a position with the Agency. You will receive further guidance on this topic as you proceed through your CIA employment processing.

To Apply:

Make a note of the position(s) that interest you, as you can apply for up to four positions in one application. DO NOT submit multiple applications; this will only slow the review of your application, and delay processing. Please read the Application Instructions carefully before you begin the online application process.

Reaction:

I would not view this position as a stepping stone; I view it as more of the destination. This is not a job that I would want to invest my time and energy in at this stage of my life. I have two young children who need stability, a home close to family, and a present mother. This would be a job that I would be interested in when my children are raised and on their own.

The listing mentions that interested applicants must have strong skills in at least one area of the library science profession. The area that interests me most is research. I love digging around for nuggets of information that no one else can find.

I meet most of the minimum requirements. I am working on my MLIS, so I can check that off of my “to-do” list. The only requirement I do not currently meet is the ability to read and research in a foreign language.

Dream Job #2: Taken from an article in the National Catholic Register:

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/benedict-xvi-dreamed-of-becoming-vatican-librarian

Benedict XVI Dreamed of Becoming Vatican’s Librarian

                   by Edward Pentin                    Friday, August 10, 2012 10:54 AM Comments (3)

Rome ReportsBenedict XVI locking a bookcase in the library at  Castel Gandolfo in 2010.

– Rome Reports

Before becoming Pope, Benedict XVI once dreamed he would become the  Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church, a prelate recently appointed  to that post has revealed.

In an interview in today’s L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop  Jean-Louis Bruguès, who was appointed as Librarian of the Apostolic Library and  Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives on June 26th, said the Pope made the  disclosure to the archbishop when he entrusted him with the post.

“He told me that before he became Pope, he had a dream: it was to go to the  Library as librarian and archivist,” the French Dominican archbishop recounted.  “It was a dream, he told me, that he would now want to see realized through me.  He did not say how. My task now is to try to figure out how I can realize  it.”

The disclosure is understandable given the Holy Father’s love of books, how  he treasures his own personal library and his skill in teaching the  faith. “When you look at the wealth and power of the Pope’s catecheses –  such as his Wednesday audiences or homilies, not to mention his highest  discourses, such as those in Regensburg, in London or the Federal Parliament of  Germany – you cannot imagine that this man, so gifted for catechesis, has not  thought about a direct connection with the Library,” Archbishop  Bruguès said.

Asked what is the nature of that connection, the archbishop replied: “I  asked myself this question and I told myself: it must be like the keel of the  ship, which is not seen. In fact, few people are able to see it. So it is with  the library: there are few, apart from specialists…who understand the amount  of work that takes place in the Library and Archives.

“It is really these institutions that allow the barque of the Church to stay  afloat and move forward,” he continued. “If it were not for the keel, the ship  would be subjected to doctrinal winds of any nature or fashions. It is this keel  which gives depth to the catechetical work of the Church and her teaching.”

Archbishop Bruguès also described the Apostolic Library and the Vatican  Secret Archives as “jewels in the crown of the Church”  as it prevents  people from losing their historical memory, exposing themselves to dangerous  amnesia, and watching the possibility for progress slip farther away, he  said.

“I believe that memory is fundamental for constructing a solid basis for the  future”, the former Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education said.  “And it is even more important”, he continued, “if the memory to which we are  referring is that of the Church”.

The Vatican Library contains a treasure trove of about 1,600,000 volumes, and  80,000 ancient manuscripts and incunabula (early books, especially printed  before 1501). The manuscripts, among others, are stored digitally in the FITS  format (Flexible Images Transport System)  – a format used by NASA that was  designed to store images taken by satellites and orbital telescopes such as the  Hubble Space Telescope. The Library also preserves the texts of the invaluable  Codex Vaticanus – one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek  Bible.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/benedict-xvi-dreamed-of-becoming-vatican-librarian#ixzz2XMYzUy8Y

 Reaction:

There isn’t currently a listing for any of the departments within the Vatican Library, but that does not change the fact that working in the Vatican Library in any capacity would be a dream of mine. This seems very unrealistic to me, but it is a dream nonetheless. I would think that in addition to library experience, it would be to my credit to go beyond an MLIS earning a doctorate in a related discipline – Library Science or Theology. Looking at the listing of Vatican Librarians it appears they may all be male. That could be a hurdle. Anyway, dreams are always worth dreaming.

How do the CIA and Vatican relate to each other?

At first glance, it may appear that my dream jobs couldn’t be further apart on the spectrum. The one element that ties them together are the elements of intrigue and mystery that shroud them. Both organizations are very secretive. It is this secrecy that lures me in. I like to have the inside scoop. I like to know things that other people do not. I like to be trusted with secrets and information. I also like to do a lot of research, and I cannot think of any other places that would be more interesting to research in and research for.

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