It never occurred to me until yesterday that there might be something called a “literacy autobiography.” I was sitting in class, reflecting on the most-commented online discussion topic for the class that day, and thinking that several of us Library & Information Science students feel the need to process whether/how/why we are or are not “heavy readers”–something only 10% of the population identifies as.
We had been reading an article regarding what we can learn about the heavy reader as an information user, and this particular discussion thread seem to attract much attention. One concern was whether we could be good library and information professionals if we did not consider ourselves heavy readers. Most agreed that we’d still be of value to the community we’d be serving.
Something I’m still curious about, however, is why we needed such affirmation. I, myself, felt the need to call my airing the fact that I don’t read many books a “confession.” It seems like a dirty secret to love libraries but feel bothered by reading books.
Judging by how many people responded to this topic, I’m wondering whether it’d be useful to ask my colleagues to write their own literacy autobiography. When did they first encounter reading, or reading about reading? I recalled in a snap the book that got me started: Wally the Wordworm. From the time I first read that, I was destined to be an alliterator. How did books and words influence the paths of my colleagues?
It would be an interesting research question, especially for surveying library and information science students. I just wonder if anyone could and would make the time for it.