One attribute or skill that I was attempting to gain through my learning process was knowledge and hands on time as a librarian. My current position with the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is unique. As a Computer Lab Department Head, I’m classified as a manager. This position however is a paraprofessional and not a professional. I knew that with no professional management experience in this career field, it will be difficult competing with seasoned professionals already working in those positions. Gaining the necessary knowledge through the MSIS program was not an issue. I desperately needed to show and prove hands on experience and I didn’t know how to achieve this until I discovered that one of the requirements to complete a MSIS degree at the University of Tennessee is to participate in a Practicum. Completing practicums are great learning tools and give University of Tennessee MSIS graduates a competing edge in the information science job market.
I also wanted to understand the current and future outlook of a career in information science. Through courses such as IS 510, I was able to conduct research in the form of a Job Posting Analysis. This was great insight personally because I discovered that there are jobs beyond the “library” threshold which opens up opportunities and can expand a career.
This may sound unconventional but one final learning outcome for me was to identify what I know and what I don’t know about information science. Of the 10 years that I worked in the public library system, 5 of those years were actually working at a library branch location. I would occasionally fill in and provide help in various departments (circulation, reference, etc.). I wasn’t sure if I was entering the MSIS program with the advantage of already having previous knowledge of the field. What I discovered was that I had previous knowledge of a specific competency, but I was just touching the surface of what information science truly is. The fundamentals and theories were new to me. I was also surprised at how the advancements in technology and information science wee related. Of all of the concentrations in the information profession, digital/electronic content intrigued me the most. I’m amazed at how today’s librarian can multitask by combining research and collection development with managing a website or social media blog. The future is bright!