Sometimes it’s easy to see libraries, archives, museums etc., and by extension library and information studies, as somewhat of an outdated concept. Many feel that they are part of a previous, analogue age in which everything was physical, with very few computers involved in day to day processes, and as such are irrelevant to today’s electronic, virtual data world. This feeling is sometimes expressed in less than diplomatic terms. When I was first researching information studies with a view to starting this course, I came across this article from Forbes. The bold headline, proclaiming contemptuously “No. 1 Worst Master’s Degree For Jobs: Library and Information Science” isn’t exactly the kind of thing a budding information professional wants to see. Yet, when you dig deeper, the actual reasons for this pessimism turn out to be the fact that a) librarians work in libraries (umm…) and b) information professionals ‘only’ earn “$57,600 mid-career”. Well, I think we can all safely say that we didn’t decide to do this to get rich!
In my last post I talked about visiting a library to get ‘real’ books for my course. I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the SCONUL access scheme which enables distance learning students at participating universities to use library services at their local university. It’s an excellent service and very easy to register for, and all the better if the university teaches a similar course to yours and has a plentiful supply of books or resources. So, having received my authorising email and double-checked with the library, off I went to my local university, armed only with a bus ticket and a list of books.