As I conclude with my Introduction to the Profession class this semester it is time to revisit my original Assumption about LIS as a profession. I had some previous knowledge of how the profession is evolving before entering this program, but the Introduction to the profession course helped to better refine what I know about the work of librarians and other information professionals. I would say that I am more aware of the rights that we all have in America under the First Amendment to receive information and the subtle things that people do to try to limit that right.
I am certain that when any of my colleagues in this program told their family and friends that they were going to graduate school to study library and information science that they were met with at least one of two general questions:
1. I didn’t know that a Master’s degree was needed to be a librarian.
2. Isn’t librarianship a dying profession?
I think these are fair reactions since many patrons only see the public service part of what librarians do. It would also be fair to say that some patrons make the assumption that any adult working behind the reference or circulation desk is a librarian. So from that perspective it would be easy to make the assumption that with the increase in the use of databases and e-books that libraries as holders of print collections are going to the wayside. As a student in this course my perception of what LIS professionals do has been broadened. I have learned more about other careers that librarians may take such as taxonomists and web developers. I have also learned more about the advances that have been made in e-book lending. From this perspective it appears that possibilities for a career in LIS are broader than ever.
While I still don’t think that as an information profession I will be fighting social injustices every day I could admit to learning more about the subtle ways that people try to block others from information. Not all forms of censorship are as apparent as book burning. Actions done for the sake of protecting the innocent minds of children can lead to censorship. Denying a patron access to a book because they might use the information to harm themselves is censorship. This tendency to want to protect others in this way seems innocent enough, but the definition of censorship does not change because of one’s perception of the “goodness” of the material denied. Knowing more about the ways that censorship presents itself has made me more vocal about educating others on the subject.