Promoting Knowledge

Perhaps because it’s winter break and folks have an abundance of downtime, but I’m seeing a lot of job hunting/interviewing advice crop up in the blogs I follow. That got me thinking.

The whole reason I’m in Library School is because I hit a ceiling at my job. I led the project to upgrade each of our applications, I unofficially became the manager of my group, I even became the SharePoint guru for the department. I made myself well respected. The powers-that-be appreciated me and knew that they could count on me. But sometimes, dear readers, that’s not enough.

When I had a job interview for a SharePoint Administrator in another company, I intentionally let it slip that I was doing so because I was bored with my current job and wanted my next challenge. My manager at that time, being the grounded man that he is, understood and filled in the director of my interview. Her reaction? “Oh we can’t lose him!” So when I didn’t get the job, what happened? Not a damned thing. So I went back to school.

Naturally, a mere month into my first semester at Simmons I got my wish and moved to another group. Breaking in a new job, going to school, doing homework, keeping abreast of library news via blogs and various websites, and volunteering at the Arlington Public Library is just a tad overwhelming. But at times when I’m doing the sleep-deprived dance with the T (that’s the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for you non-Bostonians) and just can’t wait to get home and between the sheets, I remember the enthusiasm I have for the mission of libraries: promoting knowledge.

(Warning: what follows may be tinted with delusions of grandeur.)

That’s a mission I can believe in. Right now I work in IT for a huge healthcare company and while I have no problems with healthcare in general, I do have a problem with healthcare in this country. But that’s a story for another day. Knowledge comes in many forms these days. Gone are the “simple” days of printed word being the source of knowledge. Today we have the printed word, the electronic word, the spoken word, the visual word (think sign language) and each of the various forms have subforms. I’m convinced that the cure for AIDS, the solution for faster than light travel, and even the method for bringing about world peace will come one one day. The people who come up with these answers will build off of the suppositions and theories of the past and where will he or she find that knowledge? I believe it will be a library. Librarians are skilled at organizing information, so who else would you want tackling the issues that technological advancement bring about?

With these thought rumbling about in my head, I now look differently at all the job-related posts. In the stead of being intimidated, I’m excited for the future of LIS students. We may have a beastly time getting a job. We may not be well paid. But for those of you who, like me, dream of a world in which AIDs no is a scourge no longer, or in which we’re traveling to distant planets because we put aside petty squabbles that cause war,  I remind you that a wise man once said: “Any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.”


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