Today at work, I tapped on the reading I did for my BA in psychology (Oakland University) as well as professional experience working with clients in the human services field in order to cull through a list of materials for a patron in order to address her information needs on a very specific topic. While assisting the patron, I was pleased that I had read several of the materials on the list — even personally owned a few — and was able to provide her with on-the-spot summaries. This moment helped to cement the fact: varied academic and/or professional backgrounds contribute to the LIS-field, specifically in the public libraries arena.
Just a short time later, I was asked to develop a reading list comprised of historical fiction books focusing on two specific time periods. Producing a list of materials in which the library actually owned involved use of Library of Congress Subject Headings in order to generate meaningful search results using the library’s OPAC — not something the average John Doe could do merely using Google or a basic catalog keyword search using “historical fiction.” Books and Authors, a database by Gale, provided me with a short list of materials which the patron could borrow via ILL (inter-library loan) if/when the main list gets exhausted. Since the patron had showed an interest in non-fiction materials relevant to these time periods, I supplemented the list with said materials.
And…at the close of my shift, I was down to just 3 shelves left to review for the 745 (Decorative Arts) weeding project.
It was a very, professionally, satisfying day…