Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mid-Semester Analysis and Reflections

As the first half of my first semester in the LIS program at Wayne State ends I begin to reflect about my writing in the first six weeks. If I were to identify a trend in my writing I would have to confess that I have not truly delved out of my comfort zone. My discussion threads and comments tend to be reflections of my own experience as an archivist. Writing from one’s own experiences is good, however, it would be more beneficial for me at this point of my education to explore new concepts and engage my classmates more in areas in the LIS world that excite them.

The blog activities for this class have, at least so far, been a wonderful outlet for expressing my desires in the workplace and as a student. Although we are expected to treat each blog as a professional essay I hope that my professor forgives the frankness that I enjoy about writing blogs.  Looking back at my first blog post I seem a bit unsure about starting an LIS program. The will to learn and grow professionally is there, but the post comes across as slightly jaded. I am sure that this point of view will not change by the end of the semester. Working in the field, having already lost hours of sleep in another master’s program, and trying to navigate a terrible job market has given me a different perspective than many of the students entering the program directly out of their undergraduate programs.

Moving forward into the final half of the semester I want to focus on engaging my classmates and exploring topics that I have side stepped in the past. For this reason I am going to spend my library visits at institutions unlike the one where I am employed and speak to people employed in LIS professions different from my own.  I hope that by learning about other LIS professions and institutions that my writing will be less focused on the point of view of an archivist and more open to writing from the perspective of an LIS student.

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Professional Goals

After completing a M.A. in history less than three years ago the thought of going back to school made me feel tired just thinking about it. But after spending some time in the job market and landing my second project archivist position I knew that I had to do whatever it takes to make myself more competitive in the very narrow job market for archivists. In the few years it has been since I graduated I had also began developing an interest in records management and digitally born records. It seemed to me that if I were to go back to school the thing to do would be to spend my time (and money) becoming an expert in records management and electronic records.

I realize that it sounds incredibly cliché, but I do have a five-year plan. In the next two to three years I will complete my MLIS concentrating in records and information management as it applies to electronic records. During this time I will also pursue the Records and Information certificate. In addition to my education at Wayne State I plan on taking the summer semester off in order to study for the Academy of Certified Archivists Exam in August. In the next five years I will take the Certified Records Manager Exam, but I will first need to gain more experience in the field to qualify.

After my position ends in March 2014 at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections I hope to find a permanent position where I can grow professionally, ideally, working as an archivist or records manager in an academic or government setting. As a project archivist my tasks and goals in the workplace have already been decided for a two-year period. To be able to explore my own interests and make my own goals would be challenging and worthwhile.

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