|My Turn: Brian Tata|
Would you like to have YOUR Turn? What is your passion? MSLA members are invited to express their ideas and submit them to Forum Editor, Ann Perham
To Make A Permanent Impression
Brian R. Tata, MLIS, MS
As we speed through the beginning of the 21st Century, Library and Information Professionals continue to receive the same inquiries that we were asked when the first symbols were carved in caves, when the first book was published, and when the
first Word Processor was used: What we do?, how we do it?, and why we do it?
Even though the methods of information retrieval continue to evolve and we all continue and
strive to learn to keep up with these methods, the true answer is a paradigm: “Well, um, let’s
see, I know I teach and use the Dewey Decimal System and conduct Reference Interviews, and check books and other materials in and out, and help people with general and specific questions about virtually anything and everything they can think of, but what does the 21st Century Library and Information Scientist do and plan on doing to answer this question properly and succinctly, once and for all?”
These questions and their answers are not easy and will never go away. We are able to answer them quantitatively, qualitatively, generally, specifically, in-depth or in summary. I firmly believe that the best way to answer these questions is to speak to the experiences we have had; to speak from the heart and mind and to take these very complex answers and ‘funnel’ them down to a level of comprehension so that these primal questions can be answered better and easier; not only for our own sake but for the sake of our internal and external customers.
I believe in empowerment through coaching, and not in lecturing or teaching to a customer or a class; Empowerment via hands-on, practical and logical explanation of concepts, ideas and subjects; assisting and encouraging all customers through authentic assessment (i.e. Real World examples) and research. In this 21st Century online environment especially, this format is best because it helps customers 'teach themselves' the information offered, which helps in faster, more efficient comprehension and application of the information.
Having the heart of an educator and a love for perpetual learning helps our Information Scientists of the 21st Century effectively deal with almost any situation that arises in our comfort zone, the Library, Learning Center, Classroom, or wherever we retrieve Information. Listen and hear; Look and see; Read and analyze. The decisions we make are based on collaboration; We recognize the value of input from all customers – parents, teachers, coaches, students, administrators, community members, and many others! And we must always work to build consensus for the betterment of our venue.
Dive into the daily routine with passion and with enthusiasm. Push to raise the expectations and integrity of our customers. As change of expectation of any kind is often times met with uncertainty and fear, we must consistently seize every opportunity to demonstrate empathy, compassion and understanding while maintaining our commitment to high standards that our profession has always had. Our “value-add” to the profession and to our customers cannot be overstated. Infusing technology has revolutionized our career of choice. This has continually helped our customers’ ability to access and share information. We truly are Revolutionaries and will remain that way by connecting with our communities through serving on committees, volunteering and striving to collaboratively and permanently communicate with each other; to make an impression.
So what do we do? How do we do it? WHY do we do it? The answer is easy (!) We remember the past, seize the present and change the future through improving the education of our customers and our chosen career path.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 January 2011 )|