Monday, December 28, 2009

My attempt at a vaguely sophisticated and intellectual post

Probably the most interesting paper I've read in my one semester of library school so far has been Marcia Bates' 'The Invisible Substrate of Information Science'. Not necessarily because of the light it sheds on the field of information science, but because of the light it sheds on me, for being interested in information science.

One of Bates' basic assumptions is that information science is a meta-science; that is, as a field, it is concerned with the content of all fields. Academics and researchers within a particular field of science—particle physics, say—are only really concerned with the content of that field: major developments, the top researchers, the history of the field, and so forth. Librarians and other information scientists, however, must be able to organize, search for, and retrieve information from potentially every field and discipline; they must be able to use works of every style, content, and format, without necessarily knowing anything about the meaning of what they are organizing. (She identifies two other meta-fields—education and journalism—both of which also are concerned with the content of multiple other fields. And, like librarians, educators and journalists are also necessary for a healthy, functioning democracy. But hey, let's not get into politics yet, right?)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obligatory first post

My name is Ted Anderson. I'm a library student, currently getting my Master's in Library and Information Science through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through their online program. I'm also an aspiring comics writer, even though I can't draw.

I've started blogs before, but I've never really had the drive to keep posting for long periods. I think that's partly because I didn't have a theme, a unifying idea behind the blog, some purpose that would keep me writing. But this blog, in case you couldn't guess from the title, takes as its driving purpose my library studies: what I'm learning about library science, what I want to do as a librarian, why I think libraries are important to society, my advice for other librarians, my experiences working in a library, and so forth.

However, this does not mean that this blog will be nothing but Dewey Decimal System jokes (as one of my friends suggested). I'm not writing just for librarians, nor will I be writing only about libraries. This blog is for anyone who's ever been in a library, or thought about how information is arranged, or even anyone who's ever read a book. This blog is for everyone.

And now, a funny picture of a dog wearing goggles and a hat.