Introduction to my blog :)

Welcome to my blog!  My name is Samantha Downes and I am a first-year student in the MLIS program at Wayne State University.  I graduated in December 2011 from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance.  My minors were in Psychology and French and I also graduated from the Lee Honors College.   My interest in Library Science began during my undergraduate studies.  I had a job working in my university library for four and a half years as a Student Assistant in the Electronic Serials Department.  I was responsible for checking the links to electronic journals and checking subscription dates to make sure they were up to date.  I learned a lot about the inner workings of an academic library and just how much information is available in electronic formats.

This blog will be a site for my reflections on readings, lectures, articles, professional organizations, conferences, and personal research on professions in library and information science.  Basically, it’ll be my view on the world of libraries and librarianship.

I’m very excited about completing my MLIS program.  There are so many possibilities and opportunities open to me in the future with this degree.  I think everyone has their own perception of library systems and librarians, whether positive or negative.  Here are a few of my beliefs on the profession and the future of libraries;

1)  Libraries will never cease to exist.  They might, however, change significantly over time in function.

Libraries have existed in one form or another for thousands of years.  The function and mission of the library, however, has changed as the need of the society of which it was ingrained has changed.  As technology continues to enhance, the public’s need for information enhances as well.  More and more, public libraries provide e-books and other electronic resources for their patrons.  Academic libraries subscribe to more and more online scholarly journals.  It is the job of the librarian to fulfill the needs of the surrounding society.

2)  While print may not be as important for a lot of traditional monographs in the future, print copies will continue to be preserved in libraries.

There is a big argument on whether the future will hold more important on the content or the container.  While I agree, the focus will be on the content and shift from print to electronic formats, print copies are very important.  Religious institutions will always have a need for print.  The Vatican has a large archive full of books and manuscripts.  Synagogues each have Torah scrolls.  Churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship require print copies for the congregation to follow the service.  I cannot see a future in which you walk into your place of worship and turn on your e-reader to worship with your fellow congregates.  Religious organizations hold tradition to be very important.  Print is considered traditional in our society, thus, at least with this institute, print will never dissipate.

3)  Don’t worry Mom and Dad, I’ll get a job after graduation (this time)….

The possibilities for jobs requiring an MLIS are endless.  There are, of course, the traditional routes of the public library, academic library, school library or special library.  There are also jobs in museums, hospitals and corporations.  There are jobs working for vendors of information.  There are jobs in Social Media.  There are jobs doing contract work for the government or other institutions.  I believe the more the MLIS candidate does to pump up his or her resume will only make him or her successful.  If he or she cannot find a job after graduation, it won’t be for a lack of available positions out there.

For an example of what I’m talking about….here’s a link to a posting of 61 Non-traditional jobs for an LIS graduate.  Enjoy!

Thanks guys!  I can’t wait to share more of my thoughts throughout this semester….and most likely beyond.  YAY for future “librarians” out there 🙂


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