Kia ora koutou,
Today is the day I have decided to give up on my library degree.
It is a decision I have come to slowly, but is one now made. There were two stand-out factors that finally swayed me off the path I was on.
These were personal perceptions and should not influence anyone else; nor are they to be taken as gospel. I hope that by sharing them here, they might open up some useful discussions.
1. The people being promoted in my library don’t have library-related degrees.
Well, the bottom line and message here is that they actually count for little.
2. Library school does not have enough papers that focus strongly enough on Information technology or teaching skills.
These are two things that are likely to become increasingly important in the library sector.
I have completed my studies to just beyond diploma/certificate level, and I feel this serves me well enough. If I decide to pursue further study, I feel it would be more useful for me to put my money towards teaching, business, IT – or any other qualification.
There is repetitive discussion in the library world about the push to have librarianship recognised as a Profession.
Like many of my classmates, I quickly tired of what seemed like attempts to enlist me to this cause. Moreover, there will always be a difference between *being* professional and being *a* professional. The former has always been more important to me than the latter, and I daresay for employers too.
After visiting some special libraries and archives, I can see that the nature of the work in parts of the field certainly do require a person to have specialised skills particular to their job.
However, the apparent dismissiveness towards the qualifications an applicant holds when appointments are made for senior library roles does negate the value of a library degree.
I feel that any time myself or my colleagues have been elevated, it has been based on personality and natural skill rather than qualifications. Perhaps this is as it should be – but now, now I intend to use my savings to travel rather than continue study.
Best wishes to all of you with a more ambitious and positive outlook than myself!