3 Ways to Stay Relevant while working on the MLS
In the ‘Library sphere ‘ (i.e., vernacular, culture), fighting for relevancy is a phrase that many people talk about in the MLS circles often in passing, but in my opinion it is difficult to do if you don’t have an action plan. What is an action plan? It’s my made-up philosophy and cure for procrastination. What keeps us from doing things that need to get done? *Silently think about it* or not….LOL.
Why is it important to stay relevant or even try? Well there are the logical reasons: obtaining employment, keeping a job, and contributing to the profession. Creative/altruistic reasons: enjoying your job, inspiring/teaching others, and growth in our profession.
Why do I care about staying relevant? For the same reasons why I cringe in the supermarket or public libraries when I see the ‘self-serve’ check-out kiosks. How many times are customer service members needed at these places despite its stand-alone machinery? If you leave it a mess, it starts a community of complacency, laziness, and boredom.
I recently had my first book review featured on Hack Lib School. My area of interest include research related to diversity initiatives, improving MLS curriculum, and Health Informatics. I have demonstrated this passion by reading literature relevant to these interests. ACTION PLAN: In order to stay relevant, challenge yourself to read things that interest you respond to the writers/editors. Challenge yourself if there is an area in your MLS program that needs improvement. If you want change, don’t want for someone else to do it. Reach out and contribute.
2. Establish an online presence
In my opinion, one way to demonstrate this is to establish an online presence. Having this blog is my first attempt at creating an online presence. My technology skills are not at an expert level [YET], but it is a challenge that I am willing to change. In LibrarianLaks, recent blog Skiffy Speculation she shares examples of technology software used to create online portfolios. ACTION PLAN: This is something that I have thought a lot about and hope to take an ACRL sponsored e-learning class to learn about research/assessment and/or website redesign.
3. Volunteer on a local level
I have always wanted to learn about my own family history. Since relocating to the MD area, I have met a local African-American Historical and Genealogical Society group. This is a great resource to listen, learn about history, and share knowledge. ACTION PLAN: If you are interested in archives, digital collections or indexing this would be a great opportunity to volunteer at a local historical society or Regional Archive.
Again! Thanks for reading. What are you thoughts?