I was just discussing my Master’s program with an acquaintance last night and was asked my intentions regarding my MLS. The day before I was at lunch with my fellow library scholars and a physics student, the latter asked us all the same question. Before that I had a (two-way) interview with Upstate Medical Libraries in which my interests within the Library Science field were inquired.
By now I’ve come up with a sort of standard answer, consistent in it’s detail, enthusiasm and thought-provoking nature. I hadn’t realized how–perhaps overly–thorough this response had become until Sunday when hearing the simpler and more matter of fact answers from my classmates. Don’t get me wrong: my initial attraction to the field was almost purely my desire to become certified in an occupation that was a little obscure but certain. I wanted a job. And the prospect of working in the academic sphere was very tempting to the natural academic in me.
But I realize that committing to one of the best graduate programs in Information Studies in the country requires more than mere bibliophilia. Yes, I am determined to garner experience as an academic librarian at a university (that’s not a state school). But the field has so many enticing nooks and crannies, that I can’t help but explore where I may find a greater calling.
Specifically, the fields of medical librarianship and law librarianship appeal to me. Coming from a Comparative Literature background, I have a consistent eth0critical lens that I feared would be muted in this particular field. And yes, I’ve had to starve that part of myself in my grad education thus far. But the ethical dimension behind the questions of access to information seems to be forever relevent. If our bent is truly to create customers, then having a pluralist and open nature as an institution should be an objective of the library towards that end. This issue comes to a head in medical and legal libraries because both portals (to lift wikipedia language) of information can be critical to just about anyone, yet people with certain nationality, economic, linguistic and academic backgrounds seem to have more convenient access to the information they need. The implication seems to me to be a call to remedy the uneven access to medical and legal information so that anyone can avoid critical situations.
Long story short, I’m interested in advancing accessibility to medical and legal libraries.