My first semester as an MLIS student has been quite eventful and busy, might I add. Even though I’m only approaching my third month in the program, I have already learned a lot about the library science profession and how diverse this occupation is in terms of job selection, ethical standards, and the overall institutions that employ LIS graduates.
In my first couple posts, I briefly discussed the importance of library professionals and how they are gatekeepers of the past and are responsible for children and adults learning more about various subjects. I have always known that library professionals are important to society, but I was not aware of why librarians and libraries are so essential to communities and academic institutions.
In watching the “The Hollywood Librarian” I got a visual lesson on the history of librarians and how their role evolved from serving politicians to serving their communities by providing educational, informative, and entertaining resources. The documentary also discussed how undervalued many libraries are from a government perspective and, due to continuous budget cuts, how many public library administrators struggle to raise funds just to keep libraries open and fully functioning.
Analyzing that documentary was one of the most enlightening experiences thus far in my blog and it really opened my eyes to the evolution of libraries and how much society relies on library resources in their everyday lives. Through similar assignments in my LIS classes, I have also tackled the subject of the library’s role in a community and what role this institution has people’s lives. Blogging about the importance of libraries and LIS professionals is a topic that I definitely plan on revisiting in future posting.
Moving forward, I also plan to dig deeper into the role that archives play in information institutions. In my first few posts, I thoroughly outlined my goals as a MLIS student and what I hope to accomplish once I graduate. I am specializing in archival administration and intend on pursuing a career as an archivist. Therefore, I plan to use this platform to discuss some of the issues that archivists tackle in their profession and how archives fit into the overall function of libraries. In my post on LIS organizations, I gave an overview of the Society of American Archivists, which is one of the premier and most popular archival organizations in the country. Writing this post really helped me get a better idea of the mission and goals of SAA, and the kinds of opportunities they offer for MLIS students and professionals.
As I continue to journey through MLIS classes and compose blog posts, my hope is to get a better understanding of the program and to learn more about just why LIS professionals are so cool!
One of my goals has always been to pursue a master’s degree in a discipline which I have a personal curiosity in. Having worked in the professional world for a few years, I am now pursuing a master’s degree in Library Science with a focus on archival administration. Archivists, in my opinion, have one of most important responsibilities ever, and that is to establish and maintain control, both physical and intellectual, over records of enduring value. (So You Want to Be an Archivist: An Overview of the Archives Profession. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www2.archivists.org/profession)
This field will allow me the opportunity to research music from a more historical perspective while helping to uncover and preserve rare objects within music’s past. I minored in Music History in college and am interested in researching music on a professional level and collecting more information about the subject that may be of use to researchers.
My ultimate goal is to work as an archivist at a museum or an educational institution that specializes in music collections like the National Jazz Museum in Harlem or The Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. I am an avid jazz fan, and knowing that I could possibly help preserve historical items such as Louis Armstrong’s trumpet or drum sticks by drummer Max Roach is very fascinating. I also want to educate young people about how much of a role music plays in society. Through working at an educational facility such as a museum, I want to create programs for kids that will allow them to learn more about music history at a young age. I didn’t even take a music history class until I was in college, so I want kids to be able to be educated about this history at an early age so that will hopefully increase their appreciation for good music when they are older.
In order to fully pursue my future career as an archivist, I plan to obtain a certificate in Archival Administration from Wayne State. This certificate will allow me to compete for specific archival positions in any industry.
The information agency has definitely evolved throughout the years and many institutions are transitioning to digital formats and utilizing online avenues more in order to engage patrons. The role of information professionals has also changed, and archivists, for instance, are delving more into digitization when it comes to preserving projects. In order to equip myself with the sufficient skills needed to navigate in the field, I also intend to specialize in digital content management. Specializing in digital content management will allow me the opportunity to learn more about creating digital collections for various institutions such as schools, museums and libraries.
I have already begun the process of engaging myself in archival projects. As a member of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, which is a local organization dedicated to preserving Detroit music, I’ve been able to particularly dig up historical facts about a historical ballroom in Detroit and a museum that was connected to the venue. I spoke with an archivist who used to work for the museum and my research aided in the recovery of the museum’s collection. I co-wrote a paper about the Graystone Museum, which I presented at the DSC Sound Conference last year. I also joined the WSU student chapter of the Society of American Archivists and plan to become heavily involved with the organization so I can learn as much as I can from professionals in the field of archival administration.