I don’t talk very much, especially don’t like talking about myself. What I like, is to quietly observe other people and “read” them – read through their actions, expressions and conversations. I hope it doesn’t make me sound like a weirdo, but this is one of the things that makes me feel comfortable because when I talk less, I listen more and I feel more. I guess that’s a trait most introverts share, but what does it have to do with the Hyperlinked Library? And what does it have to do with the information profession?
Before taking this class, I assumed that the information profession was mainly about information, about how we interact with information and how we use tools to fulfill people’s information needs, but now I see it differently after the 15-week-long study. The word “hyperlinked” says a lot about this course, and to me, it means connection with people. Like I wrote in my virtual symposium, in today’s digital world, every person is a hyperlink in their own community life. If we want to have a fully-functioning community, we need to make sure that all members are connected and that each individual functions well. This is exactly how I feel in this course. By participating and interacting with each other, we are all connected to one another which helps build this supportive and dynamic community. However, from my own experience, I know not all virtual communities are as supportive and caring as the Hyperlinked Library community. Empathy and heartfelt support only come from a loving heart which knows how to feel and it must belong to someone who recognizes the power of listening and “reading” other people’s stories.
In her article, Livia Gershon argues that the future is emotional. She contends that emotional labor, although currently “undervalued and underpaid”, is invaluable and worth more attention from policy makers and the general public (2017). When information professionals are offering services to various communities, we are expected to be compassionate and understanding of people’s problems and frustrations. While we try to help other people and become so involved in their stories, we may be at the risk of suffering from compassion fatigue. I believe those who are always empathetic and caring may suffer more in this process. Therefore, I’d like to share a video with all of you. I hope it will be useful and helpful for every future information professional in this class and I truly hope compassion fatigue won’t stop us from loving and caring for others.
Gershon, L. (2017, June 22). The future is emotional. Aeon. https://aeon.co/essays/the-key-to-jobs-in-the-future-is-not-college-but-compassion
Mathieu, F. (2019). What is compassion fatigue? TEND. https://www.tendacademy.ca/what-is-compassion-fatigue/