Self-Reflection: What’s next?

So, with the big “What next?” question looming over my future, now that I’m sandwiched between grad school and employment, I’ve begun to seriously consider what subjects, topics, fields, areas, etc. I find most fascinating, interesting, and compelling. The unfortunate problem is that now that I’m seriously considering it, and applying for jobs, I keep coming up with more and different ideas of what I want to do!

In light of this dilemma, and of the fact that I need to know what I want to do so I know which jobs to apply for, I thought I’d use this space to work out what pieces of the library and information professions I want to contribute to and be a part of.

So here’s the list.

1. Originally, when I started applying to jobs back in February, I was just finishing or had finished my favorite course ever, (INF2162 Rare Books and Manuscripts), which brought to my attention how deeply I enjoy investigating historical artifacts. I got especially excited when we learned about provenance (no surprise here – I’ve always been into social history). This left me with a strong conviction that I was meant to be a rare books librarian.

Well, then I found out about the “second master’s degree” highly preferred requirement. And although I am willing to go back and do more schooling, my current situation declares: “Not possible.”

2. I finished school and started applying again, and this time I had recently completed a practicum in a corporate, science library and archives. Where I realized that I really enjoy working with software and programming and that sort of thing. And I remembered I want to save (read: preserve) historical, cultural artifacts, books, and information.

3. Recently, I have begun reading about preservation of analog and digital information, and articles that advocate for preservation. And I have discovered that this enjoyment in working with software, and this passion about preservation, has led to a definite interest in working with and preserving not just historical information, but contemporary information in varied, and digital, formats.

4. I have spent some years working in a museum environment, and although that particular situation was not a good fit for me, I did leave with an appreciation for historical artifacts, but also for educational programming and the curation of exhibits. I like the idea of curating information in order to provide people with the means to make meaning out of the information – both the meaning intended in the curation, and meanings that are particular to the individual.

So this leaves me with: rare books, outreach, musuems, digital preservation, preservation and conservation, and basic information services/digital collections development. The list is long, but the silver lining is that I keep finding job openings that interest me.

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2 thoughts on “Self-Reflection: What’s next?

  1. Sounds like your headed in the right direction. I recently went through the same exercise of pinpointing exactly what I wanted to do. I kept coming up against the pressure to apply to everything (even the jobs I am over-qualified for or not interested in)…now I am honing in on exactly what I want.

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