- Claude Bernard -
“The joy of discovery is certainly the liveliest that the mind of man can ever feel”
Portfolio of Library Work
Articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom.
Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice.
Recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use.
Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy.
Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information.
Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge.
Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities.
Use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users.
Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
Design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories.
Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups.
Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.
Evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.
The electronic portfolio presented here was part of the requirement for the Masters of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University in Fall 2007. The library world has changed significantly since that time, but many of the fundamental principles are still contained within.
When applying to the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University in 2005, I wrote a personal statement expressing my interest in the program and the field of librarianship. Upon reading this statement towards the end of my time in the program, I find that my reasons for being in the program have not changed. Yet my understanding of the field, and the opportunities that it offers have expanded.
When I began this program I worked in Web design and development, organizing a Web site for a small independent publishing company. What I found was the challenge and the enjoyment of this position was being able to organize a large amount of information for a worldwide audience in a useful and meaningful way to the users of the Web site. In my studies in this program, through classes on collection development, cataloging, reference, technology classes, and indexing and information retrieval classes, I've found that they all revolve around one thing: the end user.
It's All About the User
In the beginning of Rubin's Foundation of Library and Information Science, the author discusses the challenge of providing the right information to the right groups as the amount of information available to us grows each day. "No group is more aware of this than librarians, who have been trying to collect, organize, and disseminate recorded knowledge for centuries" (Rubin, p.1). For the most part, librarians have not been doing this for historical purposes, although they are important figures in the preservation of materials. They are doing this for the knowledge and the benefit of their users, the promotion of knowledge, learning and literacy.
Thus librarians and information professionals must consider the needs of their users in every aspect of their jobs. Taxonomies are created not only to organize information, but to communicate that organization to a user who can then use this schema to find the information that they need. Cataloging and classification schemes are applied to information objects in order to facilitate findability and promote interoperability. Metadata schemas are created as ways to share information across systems. Standards are becoming more and more important in technology so that various systems cans use the same data and transmit it to their users.
However users search for things in different ways, so library and information professionals must be prepared to offer users different ways of accessing information. Web sites now frequently provide users with multiple options for finding what they need, through searching, browsing and indexes. Cataloging creates multiple access points based on the descriptive information.
As was my professional philosophy in Web design, information is only useful unless if it can be found by those who need it. Without the skills, efforts and knowledge of information professionals the task of finding the right information could be quite challenging. I find it rewarding to be able to organize and present information to those who need it. And it's all about the users.