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Really? You need a degree to work in a library? November 10, 2009

Posted by michaelpawlus in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

This may look like the product of an activity that my girlfriend would do with her wee babes but would you believe that it is actually a post-graduate level assignment in England?  Now, it’s not always arts and crafts time over here but when you have one professor who needs to show something during a week named for her primary research interest and one relatively new library space that needs to look like it is worth the money they spent on it, you get this.  It’s pretty ridiculous that we are given at least three weeks notice for every assignment even unassessed work that only one member of staff will see but we are given one week and a pack of markers for work that is left out in a public space all day.  People already don’t take librarianship seriously as a discipline.  Ask any librarian student how many times they have been asked what they are studying and then asked “Oh… Do you really need a degree to work in a library?”  Well, it’s certainly not helping any of our cases when this is the work that we are made to present.

Library Roots/Routes November 1, 2009

Posted by michaelpawlus in Uncategorized.
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I am adding my contribution to the Library Routes Project with this post.  I have actually not started working in the library sector yet but I can share with anyone who wants to read this why I would like to work as a librarian.

First, it all started with becoming disillusioned in Brooklyn.  I had an undergraduate degree in a subject that I backed into rather than ever having an interest in and this degree led me into non-profit work which I did enjoy to an extent but the roles I had were always administrative or at best working with donors but only rarely seeing clients and as such only very rarely being able to have a direct effect on those that needed my help.  I knew this wouldn’t do and I bounced around a ton of ideas in my head anything from law school to the PeaceCorps while dismissing them in turn: too corrupt, too mismanaged…

Then, I saw this article:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/08/fashion/08librarian.html

What’s that you say?  Libraries, books, other librarians that you are sure to have a great conversation with, access to information…. for all, directly helping people learn, a generalist subject for people that love everything and can’t pick one specialty.

I was hooked.  I did a stint in Korea so I could be closer to Tokyo and get a cheaper flight to my brother’s wedding.  Then, that one year turned into two as I met the woman who I will soon marry.  Being a teacher in Korea proved how much I would love to work in a position that allowed me more access to service-receivers.  Then, I came to England and somehow got a place at a great programme at the University of Sheffield despite having no experience.  Now, I somehow have to overcome this lack of experience along with the UK’s nationalist policy to grant employment based on where you were born rather than your suitability for a job.  However, I’ll make it happen.  Look for me in your local public library soon.