Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Changing Profession

In 2002, shortly before I left on my mission, I was working in the BYU Bookstore. It was fun and the whole campus knew me (except my fellow Freshmen who can't use their mealplans in the Bookstore) because 1, I worked the lunch rush shift in the Twilight Zone, and 2, I was the happy Canadian bag boy with the permagrin. :)
I remember about a month before I left for Brazil, Russ Taylor, one of my frequent customers, asked if I would return to the bookstore after I finished my mission. I said that I was actually hoping to find something that would look a little better on a resume. He said to look him up in Special Collections and he'd give me a job in the library.
Two years later, I found myself working in the library and that was the start of my short career (thus far). I worked in Special Collections for three years as a student, gaining experience and responsibilities to the extent that they hired me back as Collection manager upon my graduation.
It's funny. I had never thought of going into library work. Actually, I was debating between law or business and truthfully, I will probably still pursue an MBA and/or JD, but for now, I'm half-way done my MLS - partly because it guaranteed me a job for awhile, partly because it is good experience that will help me in the future, and partly because they offered me a nice little scholarship which means I won't have to pay for the degree.
Now, I'm working full-time in the Science Department as Science/Maps reference specialist. At least I'm making use of my pre-med courses and chemistry minor. It's fun, but we're seeing a lot of changes and we're going to be seeing more in the future. Students are using the library less. Methods of research and requirements for study are changing. If we can't reach the students soon, we will send many into the workforce unprepared for what needs to be done in areas of research (particularly in the sciences). We'll see how it goes.
This post is prepping for the next one, which I will warn you, is a requirement for a class I'm taking in my Masters of Library Science degree. I'll try to make it interesting. :)


AmandaStretch said...

One more week and I'm halfway done too! Hooray for us!

David said...

Yeah Amanda! Good for you! Which program are you doing?

AmandaStretch said...

Thanks! I'm doing the MLIS program with University of South Carolina, with a focus on Academic Libraries. It's pretty rad.