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IST 511 – Day One

July 21, 2009

Today was the first day of IST511, Intro to the Library and Information Profession. I’ve heard it referred to by current iSchool students as the “Parade of Librarians”. As promised, today was Public Librarian day. The two speakers took totally different paths to their current public library positions, and have two completely different jobs. Yet both spoke of the same issues in librarianship, and the professional and personal rewards they have reaped throughout their careers. I am a school media student, but public libraries are near and dear to my hearts. I have been a public library patron for as long as I can remember, accompanying my parents to neighborhood library as a very young child. I could see myself being happy in a public library position.

The majority of the afternoon was spent on a lecture on searching. This is an interest of mine, as I tend to be persistent when searching for information. Family and friends will often ask me to help them find information (I bet they’ll really bug me once I actually know what I’m doing!), and I enjoy matching people to answers. As a casual searcher, I’ve been frustrated by many of the things Prof. Nicholson touched on today. Google is a great tool, but I hate all the advertising junk on there. I found out there is actually a name for the sites that frustrate me beyond reason – link farms. If any entity ever sets out to regulate web content, those should be the first things to go! (This is not to advocate censorship; I kind of view these along the same lines as commercials on tv. Too bad you can’t tivo past some of the junk on the web.)

One of the coolest takeaways from today is lii.org. This is an internet index done by librarians, and it provides reliable search results. I wish I had known about this site before, and I plan to play around with it once I have the time.

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