It’s strange, I’ve been reading the #GLAMblogclub entries for quite a while but never felt quite “qualified” to contribute to the conversation. But there was a twitter thread that made me think bugger it I’m going in so here it goes (and with only hours left of this month…)
I have had cause to question a lot about where I actually fit in the world of IT vs the world of GLAM (but specifically Libraries). I find also constantly asking myself “what is it that I do here again?!”. It’s not because I don’t have a job description or “business as usual” work to do. But it’s more that my work is so diverse that I have the ability to go in a number of different ways. This has been both a blessing and a curse in oh so many different ways. So much so that I started a few years volunteering for a couple of communities just to feel professionally grounded, somewhere, anywhere…
I don’t feel technical enough for IT—largely because I’m not much of a coder—yet I feel almost too technical for a lot of library work. – Alissa M.
I am qualified with a Bachelor of Computing (Honours) but I’ve never really fit in. I was never “IT” enough to to get a full blown IT job. I don’t code, I don’t do networks, I don’t do security but, I try to understand enough of it to be able to apply it and translate it to whatever I’m doing. I have found myself translating between the tech and the library world. Whilst I understand that this is something that is very important it’s been hard to find where that really fits in both worlds. So where exactly is it that I fit?
I showed a friend of mine my resume the other day as they were interested in how others set theirs out. Their first response was “geez you do some different things… oh but that’s a good thing it shows that you’re willing to evolve.” But is it really a good thing? I have moved from role to role because of where I’ve worked they each required a fair bit of flexibility purely because of the size of the organisation.
I look at job ads every once in a while to see where I may fit in the world and to be honest I’m not sure. But I’m not taking that as a bad thing but more as an opportunity. But I will keep reminding myself of just that. This. Is. An. Opportunity.
Our profession needs all the techy librarians it can get. People who speak library AND speak IT. People with the ethical grounding of librarianship, who may or may not work back-of-house, but who can also critically assess and use technology, ensuring it functions in accordance with the values of this profession. No siloing. No separating. No boundaries. – Alissa M
So Alissa, thank you so so so much for your blog post. I will stop asking where I fit but how can I help?