It’s a question many of us with an MLS, and those without, struggle with. Just take a look at the Library Day in the Life blog entries. You’ll see a wide, and I mean WIDE, range of variety in how we spend our days, weeks and years and our education levels.
Matt Hamilton wrote a post with some observations on the field, he’s about to graduate with an MLS and he’s the Library Innovation and Technology Manager at the Boulder Public Library. He points to some problems in the field, namely the wide variety of what we do. I agree with him when he says :
The field is not in good shape. I don’t think adding “information” to the MLS is the answer, either. I don’t think that by further genericizing the profession by calling ourselves “Information Professionals” is any kind of an answer either..
I don’t completely agree with his solution.
It’s time to stop making our field generic in the I-schools, and to let our students get the specialized skill-set they need. And I don’t mean that you take a “track” that consists of three classes providing a shallow introduction to your area of specialization. I mean we need real, exceptional, challenging programs tailored to the specific specialties within our field.
Or Karin Dalziel (a recent MLS graduate) – Why every Library Science Student Should Learn Programming
But the thing is I have to give them credit for trying. I mean it. That’s not snark. Because the thing is, I agree with the problem both of them are discussing, I just don’t know what I think the solution is. So I’ve been practicing the fine art of shutting up if I don’t have anything of value to add.
Then I realized I do have something to contribute. I may not have an answer, but I can spread the message and the more people that are aware of it, that think on it, that talk about it, that work towards a solution, the more likely we are to come up with an answer.
Do you think we have a problem? What do you think the probelm is? What do you think is the answer?
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