Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Upping Your Library Intelligence: An Ongoing Need

Thinking statues
Thinking
This - I think - is the second to last post in this series.  In this post, it is time to confront a reality.  That reality is that some graduates of academic programs believe that they need to learn nothing more than what their degree program taught them, and then get frustrated when they learn that isn't true.  Many of us have heard a graduate lament that his/her academic program did not teach them everything.  That fact, though, should not be a surprise.  No industry - including the information industry - is stagnant. There is always something new to learn.

If you are currently in an academic program and looking forward to a professional position OR you are in your first professional position, there are two points to keep in mind:
  1. Many employers will immediate teach a new employee specific skills for that work environment.  Rather than being frustrated at this, recognize this as an opportunity to learn more.  If what you are being taught is different than what you learned in your academic program, judge neither as being wrong but rather as being options to carry with you into the future.
  2. Employers will want you to continue to learn, whether that employer is able to fund that activity for you or not.  You will need to identify - perhaps with input from your boss and your colleagues - what you need to learn and the best way to learn it.  It is then up to you to pursue that learning whether it is through reading, podcasts, webinars, seminars, workshops, conferences, or academic classes.
Yes, the need to increase your library intelligence will be continual, because libraries are constantly changing.  That means that your job will constantly change.  I encourage you to be proactive in your learning.  Don't wait until your boss must force you to learn something new.

In terms of professional development, I have written several blog posts on attending conferences.  Those tips can be applied to many different professional development situations. I also have a post on reading and listening recommendations for MSLIS students.

By the way, if you are still in school, your academic program should teach you - implicitly or explicitly - how to be a lifelong learner.  If it isn't obvious to you how your academic program is doing (or did do) that, ask.   

Previous posts in this series:

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