The Hyperlinked Library experience has been an extraordinary one. The lectures and resources shared throughout this class have helped me get ever closer to finding my own voice, vision, and direction to becoming a librarian — a path and journey that I’ve not always found to be smooth. I’ve had times when I’ve felt I’m exactly where I should be, and then there are times I totally feel lost. Making room for reflective practice over the years has indeed given me motivation and hope for the future with a sense that the professional path I’m on is in fact the right one for me. The creative ideas and possibilities we’ve explored will certainly help and guide me as I continue along the path to librarianship.
In his Office Hours article Reflective Practice, Professor Stephens states how many find their way to this profession because “you’re looking to help people be the best they possibly can be”. I found this statement to hit the target perfectly for me. Over the years (12 to be exact) I’ve had the chance to work in public libraries making human connections and helping people to gain knowledge and accomplish their goals. Through my experiences I’ve often had a sense of contribution and purpose. That’s why I finally decided to pursue my MLIS (better late than never I suppose). I wish as a young undergraduate I had had the foresight to pursue this degree, but I just didn’t know at the time. I have found that the work I have done in public libraries just makes me happy. I love being part of a team that can offer opportunities for the community of library users so they can explore and experiment with their discoveries and creativity. Libraries are places where this is possible. Where everyone can feel free to explore, to learn and grow, and where no one is ever expected to be perfect. As Professor Stephens stated in his Office Hours article Talk About Compassion:
We are the heart of our communities and that only works because the people who run libraries give themselves…The best librarians make that emotional investment because they believe in the institution and the communities they serve.
It’s also incredibly vital to have good leaders who support the culture of the library so that everyone can work together and be respected. When each person is given the opportunity to build upon and contribute their full potential, this not only benefits the individual but also the library, community, and society itself. Administrators that do not understand this are doing nothing for the greater good. Libraries are welcoming places that nurture curiosity and creativity, and having an organizational culture where staff can fully strive to dream, explore, and invent their futures truly benefits all! I hope that all of us who are working hard to achieve this degree will be able to work in such libraries and environments. I wish the very best for all of us! Thanks to everyone this semester. It’s been a pleasure going down the librarianship path with you.