What do I do with my MLIS degree? Broadly, I help people get the information they need.
A couple years ago, you could find me at a public library reference desk helping someone get
homework done, citizenship tests taken, jobs applied for, trips planned. A little while ago, I coached
a non-profit through setting up social media accounts, developing policies, and launching into the
world of online engagement. After that, I worked with a group of University of Washington labs to develop communications strategies and websites for their Institute and it's research community. Currently I support a nonprofit orgnization in developing information resources, implementing software systems, guiding social media integration & planning, supporting relationships with academic researchers, developing and delivering staff information & technical literacy education, service design for agency services, website IA/UX - (in other words...everything! Pretty common for librarians to be involved in a wide variety of stuff).
Information people understand information systems and the social context they fit into. My strength is in understanding how an information environment works, and guide it's development to fit the needs of the people using it. I bring problem-solving, user behavior, and organization development approaches to my work.
- Search, assess, choose - Knowing how to craft a great search is bread & butter for librarians. It is also incredibly
useful for all other aspects of life in this information economy. I use my search skills every day in databases, public documents, library catalogs,
and in many online environments. Using both structured and unstructured search is the baseline for me, all my other tasks flow from search.
- Learning & Teaching - To teach well, I like to be immersed in and proficient at whatever it is I teach.
I try to teach to different kinds of learners in creative and engaging ways. I am strongly compelled to help people achieve their potential - teaching the ability to learn is perhaps
the highest skill I aspire to.
- Build - When I make something, I try to design so people can get what they need without
overthinking how they are getting it. I like friendly environments that are rich in resources. I have built asset repositories for researchers, information systems for nonprofits, an online catalog for a small library. Currently I'm designing an XML driven
audio archive, and hope to build it out soon.
- Digital Life - We're swimming in it. To be able to control our environment and continue learning,
we humans have to be able to identify and manipulate the bits and bytes. Everyone doesn't have to learn to
code, but we need to learn how systems work and how we can control them (or not). No matter where I work, a significant part of my professional life is spent teaching others about technical aspects of information environments, and discovering which systems fit best into an organizations task flow and user group.