Monday, August 01, 2011

Thing 10: 23 Things for Professional Development

I may go back to Thing 8 and Thing 9.  I am so stuck on the computer for long periods googling, tweeting and blogging that I am reluctant to sign up for two more things: Google calendar and Evernote.  Yet, the whole point of doing 23 Things is to become familiar with new things.  Today I read this blog by Katie and she is also skipping Things 8 and 9 so I don't feel so guilty skipping.  I did say I may go back. 

Thing 10 is about my experiences, in particular, why I chose the career and how I got to this place and what next.  In other words, I will be outlining my library roots/routes:

The Roots
In 1990 I decided that I loved teaching but did not enjoy teaching at the high school level.  Also, I loved information, loved knowing things. Before owning a computer, I would go to the public library and read newspapers from all over the world.  I found a picture of the public library in Nassau that I used to frequent.  Interesting fact: this octagon shaped library was once a prison.

While teaching in the Bahamas, I saw an ad about pursuing a MLS degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. I already had a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Linguistics from that institution.  Immediately I thought, " Hmm, school librarian." That's being involved in education plus information.  Then I thought, "Hmm, job security." Every school and every college would need a librarian.

I applied and was accepted into the program.  I had no idea there were so many other aspects to librarianship such as Special Librarianship or that it was so Technology oriented.

Looking at this UWI site, I can see that  much has changed since I did the course.  There were no Trends and Issues or Copyright Issues in my time. There is even a B.Ed degree now in School Librarianship. Looking back, the Information Technology part of the program was the least effective in preparing me for the world of work and for the 21st century.

The field work part of the program, however, was the best part and involved working at the National Library of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica

The Routes
Before completing my course I got a job in an academic library.  The library was the focal point for the college libraries network in Jamaica called COLINET.  I was involved in library orientation so I did my Master's thesis, naturally, on library orientation programs in all the libraries in COLINET. I was the editor for COLINET News. My primary job was copy cataloging using CDS-ISIS software.

I became a school librarian at an all boys' school in Jamaica.  My primary focus was to get those boys interested in reading and channel their energy into studying.  I then took a job with a college in another island. The college had a small library/study room. I was also employed to teach English, Reading Development, and Spanish. I conducted bibliographic instruction as part of the college's student success program.

I am still an academic librarian this time in the big USA. I am getting first world library experience. Won't give
too much information for potential stalkers.I assist students and staff with research,  manage resource sharing:
Gil Express and Interlibrary Loan, teach library orientation classes, write articles for the library newsletter,
and the student newspaper.

What next? 

My dream used to be working in an international library.  At one time I was hoping it would have
been the International Seabed Authority   located in Kingston, Jamaica. It's all about learning and growing for
me now. My desire to search for information, my passion for reading, and my drive to teach have got me
to this place in my career. I am open to whatever opportunity.

No comments: