Remember how I described my love of research being wrapped up in that “magic moment?” Well, apparently I’m not the only one. And, in what will surely turn into a trend, my graduate school classes are teaching me about myself. I suppose that’s part of studying a field that encompasses everything.
It seems to be constantly happening in my LBSC 601 class, which is consistently becoming my favorite class. It looks at information, the use of information and why we need information. I was reading through the textbook, which had the tendency to cause me to zone out sometimes, when I started reading a model of how someone sought information and I was instantly reminded of myself. The model (Khulthau’s Model of Information Behavior) mapped out what emotions we feel as we are searching for information. From uncertainty to optimism to frustration to clarity to satisfaction (or dissatisfaction): I feel all of these things whenever I search for information. My favorite part, as mentioned before, is the clarity, but it’s all part of the search and part of why I love research.
One of the ways I’ve been coping with not yet being able to work in libraries (for monetary and qualification reasons) is by trying to immerse myself in the field when I can. So when I went for a search for how to perform a specific task in Photoshop, I paid attention to how I searched for the info. It was nothing like how I research in an academic setting, so it was fun being able to pick another model out for myself (It was Leckie’s Model, in case you were wondering).
That’s really the key of this online learning thing. You have to fully commit to learning, even when you have a full-time job that demands your attention. Observing myself on the job was illuminating. I even found myself evaluating my approach to customer service from a librarian’s point of view. A patron needed help finding an article that my newspaper had recently published, and I actually brought her around the my computer to show her how she could find them in the future. It’s something I never bothered with before since I rarely have time to really help customers the way a librarian would. So that’s the tip of the day: MLS students (those with full-time jobs especially) need to live and breathe the stuff, otherwise it’s likely not to get fully absorbed. That’s not to say you should let your commitment to work slip, but the field of librarianship encompasses everything, so it’s likely to apply in some way at your current job, whether or not that job is in this field.