In a recent blog post What exactly makes a systems librarian?, Corey Wallis reflects about what makes a systems librarian and what type of education would be best. Corey writes: “the big question in my mind then is obviously what course would help me in becoming the systems librarian I oughtto be.” I struggle with the same questions. Personally, I don’t think my current course of study (MLS program) will make me a better systems librarian in the practical sense. However, I do think it is providing me with valuable insights into the world of librarianship and is helping to make me more aware of library issues. This will make me a better librarian – and this is a critical piece of the puzzle I am trying to put together. So, I am looking at my MLS as part of the foundation of systems librarianship (I guess I would have to consider my 8 years of experience in library systems as the other major part of the the foundation). In my mind, this also means that the process of becoming a better systems librarian will never really be over. It is a lifelong process. Right now, I’m concentrating on my masters. However, when I am done, there will be other, more technical skills that I will need to develop. I’m not sure that I will enter another graduate program – at this point, I can feel myself getting a bit tired of school (I need to find a way to reinvigorate myself and my attitude), so I can’t stomach the thought of another formal program. But, I do think that I may find certificate programs, go to conferences, take classes on specific technical subjects, read current literature on important topics, etc. Ultimately, I very much enjoy learning, and I believe it is a key to personal growth and development. I hope never to stop – and often comfort myself with the belief that we can learn just as much from bad educational experiences as from good ones (which means every educational effort is worth something).
The Education Of A Systems Librarian