I wish I was about to have my Goonies moment, one where I make an impassioned speech to fellow LIS students about how this is our time. How we need to advocate for this profession by making change happen, deciding for ourselves what libraries will look like through our own leadership, knowledge, and excellent work.
I don’t know if there’s a clear path forward, however. The thoughts I have on how to advocate for the profession come only from a first year’s worth of coursework and reflection on what seems to be best for *my* path. And I don’t exactly know where that path’s going just yet. It’s not a de facto cry for soldiering on through adventures in librarianship, seeking a treasure-filled career that will save our community.
Briefly, in bulleted points, the following is what my experiences this semester have shown me as ways to advocate for ourselves (for an advocate-by-doing approach):
- We must be entrepreneurs and experiment: “Fail often to succeed sooner”.
- We must be researchers from where we stand.
- We must be faithful to the profession’s roots and always be mindful of metadata.
- We must cultivate skills in technology, including (but not limited to) devices, web-based tools, and programming languages.
- We must remain active and put ourselves in new situations to discover new problems and perspectives.
- We must continue to have conversations online, with professionals in our field as well as those without. Knowledge cannot be built in a vacuum.
I’m sure there are more, but these are just thoughts spewed after more thoroughly reading the online discussions about academic libraries this week.
This post is a response to posts by Courtney Walters and Julia Skinner, which were posts in response to Jenica Rogers and Michael Furlough, which were responses to a talk made by Jeff Trzeciak at Penn State University Libraries (you see where this is going…).