Saturday, January 19, 2013

A little introduction

Well, I've been threatening to do this for a while now, and, here it is.  My blog about my journey in librarianship.  When I was in law school, a professor of mine told me that the skills of a lawyer can always get better.  That's why they call it the practice of law.  My approach to librarianship is the same. Even after I receive my MLIS (targeted graduation date:  May 2014),  I am always going to be a practicing librarian.  Contrary to what many believe, librarianship is a profession.  It is service in the truest sense of the word.

A little background:
I have always loved books and libraries and have been interested in how libraries serve a community.  After college, I graduated from law school and practiced law for 12 years. In 2010, I served on an advisory committee for my local library and participated in building a strategic plan using Sandra Nelson's  Planning for Results Model endorsed by the American Library Association.  It changed my life.  I knew that I wanted to work in a library somewhere, somehow.  After conducting my research, as any good lawyer does, I discovered that the only way to work as a professional in a library was to have a graduate degree in library and information science.  I was encouraged to consider library school.  Of course, I scoffed at this, as I was planning to NEVER go to school EVER again.  However, God had other plans for me, and after a series of crazy situations and time to think and pray about it, I answered the call.  You'll probably be hearing more details about this as we journey together in this blog.

In January 2012, I began library school at Louisiana State University's School of Library and Information Science, or as it is fondly known, SLIS.  (By the way, everything starts with SL-, so the lab is the SLab, the office is called the SLoffice, you get the drift).   Because we have to declare a track, I chose Archives, because I am interested in it, and it is a part of every librarian's job.   I was fortunate enough to be selected as a Library Fellow at the LSU Paul Hebert Law Center Library, and I also am a student worker at the State Library of Louisiana in the Talking Books and Braille Library.  Both jobs are really awesome, and I am learning and using so many skills.  Conventional wisdom is that I would definitely want to be a law librarian.  That is certainly a possibility given my background, and I love my position at LSU, but as I am learning, there are about a million different ways to be a librarian.

I am at the beginning of my fourth semester, and I am very excited about my courses.  Here's s list of my courses:

Information Technologies - we're learning HTML and CSS among other things.

Evaluation of Information Systems - exactly what it says, learning to evaluate ILS, OPAC and other library systems and software.

Digital Curation - This is of interest to me because of the ubiquitousness of it.  There are definite links with my legal background in terms of e-discovery and other digital documents and evidence.  Additionally, I worked on a project at the law school last fall creating metadata for all 72 Louisiana Law Reviews.  It was an interesting to look at the history of Louisiana from the last century.

Public Programming and Outreach in Museums and Archives - I am taking this through the Archival Education Collaborative, which includes LSU, Auburn, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Middle Tennessee State University.  This class is being taught to us in real time from Middle Tennessee State University.  My advisor suggested this class, probably because she knows that I like to run my mouth, so this is a good way to channel that!  Besides, you can't put Baby in a corner...

I have already taken the following:

Special Libraries

Research Methods for Library and Information Science

Information Needs Analysis

Management for Librarians

Electronic Information Resources

Foundations of Library and Information Science

Cataloging and Classification

Media and Services for Multicultural Populations

I'd love to hear from other librarians, library students, or just interested looky-loos in this blog.  Please feel free to leave comments.

People often ask me what I am reading and for book suggestions.  They do this mainly because most people who know me know that I read A LOT.  See the above link to my Goodreads page for my lists.  Doesn't every good bibliophile have a Goodreads account?

Until next time...


  1. Shannan, your passion for the profession is palpable. Congratulations on finding your niche. Libraries will be better for your presence...

    1. Thank you Becky! I really have found my calling. It was great to wake up to such a sweet compliment!