Say it Loud…I’m Black and I’m Proud!

So the semester is almost over and this is meant to be my blog wrap up. I’m going to get this done on the target date no less. I think that shows improvement because over the semester, I have used the target dates as guidelines more than anything else. I get sidetracked with other work and I’ve had writers block which means that to me everything I write looks like trash. I’m over that and I think a good deal of that came from stress. I look back at my old blog posts and see that I was fearful in the beginning. I had a right to be anxious: student loans, financial aid, using technologies I was unfamiliar with and taking an online course which is something I have never done before. The pitfalls of that, I was made aware of but there are always other pitfalls. I didn’t expect that I could feel so in touch with my classmates and so out of touch at the same time. I communicate with them in forums and rate their work, but I am unaware if they feel the same way I do. In LIS 6080, my other course, I was relieved to find that I was not the only one banging my head against a wall for the majority of the semester.

I can look back, as I assemble my portfolio, with a sense of accomplishment. I have finished a lot of different works. What I’m most proud of are the things I have mastered that I had never done before entering graduate school. I had never used Powerpoint, Excel, made a video, programmed a database, set up a website or even uploaded to http://www.youtube.com. I am now so at ease with it that I am using Quicktime and Imovie to make my own videos.

I learned things about libraries and librarians of course. It’s good to see so many men are getting into the profession. I hadn’t considered being a librarian pink-collar work in the way that being a secretary is often thought of. Not that that matters to me. Pink-collar work is usually considered derogatory which is unfortunate since the traditional pink-collar jobs are necessary. Typical, the important jobs are those that people dump on but couldn’t get along without. I look back and wonder why Ralph Munn, whom I covered as a leader in LIS would want to discourage men from becoming librarians? He thought they wouldn’t take the role seriously and would be looking for easy paychecks. He himself was an outstanding man in the field and should have well known that being a librarian is more a labor of love and bourne of a love of learning than of money. Perhaps it was self-loathing, or a low opinion of other men. Perhaps he just didn’t want any more roosters in the hen house.

The things I learned this semester that were most relevant had to do with the future of the game. Ebooks are not the greatest threat, but the need for funding and even justifying the libraries existence are. There are too many people who just don’t understand why libraries matter, and I have been arguing this point throughout the semester. Libraries are not book depositories. They are learning centers the “community classrooms” as East Lansing Public Library Director Kristin Shelley told me. All the people who believe that all you need to know can be found online are suckers. They are the new “Don’t believe everything you read.”

So I don’t feel that stressed anymore. I am building a plan of attack for the future. I am still planning on going into public libraries because I think they can reach the greatest number of people. Being an academic librarian does have some appeal, and it appears to have the most job openings. If the research I did earlier in the semester holds true and those trends continue, I may have to go the academic route. That isn’t so bad for me, the Special Collections wing of the Michigan State University Library was one of my favorite hangouts in high school.

I think I will keep blogging. If possible, I will keep using this blog, I’ve grown fond of it. I’m still unsure about what the next semester will hold, but after this semester, I have a better idea of what to expect. The future is spread out before me and it’s  lookin’ good.

Here’s a link to another blogger who had the same assignment as I do from a prior semester, just for kicks:

http://lisdev.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/final-reflections/

Good bye for now.

It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up

-Vince Lombardi

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