For the past couple of years, I have felt my professional development has been pretty stagnant. I took over as Head of Library Systems at my library in January 2000. Honestly, I was relatively new to library systems (I was a library systems technician from 1998 to 2000) and was pretty aware of the fact that I needed to learn a great deal to do my new job well. I read voraciously, took as many classes as I could and poured over material relating to library systems. I was excited and filled with ideas. The new job was challenging and rewarding in so many ways. However, over the years, I got much more comfortable and confident in my job – and a great deal of my day-to-day tasks became fairly routine. I have been aware of a feeling of disquiet and restlessness over the past two years – this slowly evolved into a sense that I wasn’t as engaged in the overall mission and purpose of the library as I could be. I certainly had lost my feelings of excitement. It seemed to me that there needed to be more – in what capacity I wasn’t sure. These vague feelings eventually led me to graduate school. I felt that school would engage my mind, expand my horizons and really get me thinking about my job in a new way. Additionally, I had found my calling in library systems – and it became important to me to formalize that realization with a masters in library science.
I have only been taking classes for about 10 months – and am currently taking my 4th class (out of 12). The learning process has been wonderful – and it has certainly stimulated my mind. Even though, I am often studying subjects that I am very familiar with, I have been able to think about these subjects in new and different ways. I’m much more engaged while I am at work – and thinking about the library from the patron perspective. So, school has done what I had hoped it would do for me. However, one thing that has been so unexpected has been the effect of blogging on this entire process. As I have mentioned before, I started this blog as a way to document my process through school. Because I am taking classes online, I think it is important to have a online way to document the experience. I also thought that actually creating a blog would be the best way to learn about them, understand them and discover how they could be useful in a library setting. I honestly did not expect to get much out of the process. Surprisingly, I have to admit that blogging has been a wonderful experience that I am enjoying for more than I would have thought. Additionally, it gets me thinking much more creatively about my work than I would have thought possible. Who would’ve thought?