On Being a Librarian

Trends, Achievements, and Perspectives

Library and Information Scientist

I conferred with a Master of Library and Information Science in June 2010 following a program of 12 months on-campus and two work terms – University of Lethbridge Library, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. I find this profession as exciting as it is challenging.  I am extremely fortunate that in all my library contract positions I work with exceptional librarians, passionate and supportive.  Those librarians acted as mentor and colleagues, and became close friends, providing me with candid feedback,  guidance, and encouragement.  The academic library work environment is collegial, collaborative, transparent, supportive, and user centered. The libraries where I have been fortunate to work, provide a stimulating environment fostering cross-pollination of ideas, encouragement to be innovative and creative, value independence, autonomy, ethical conduct, and intellectual freedoms, and support new ideas and initiatives.

Information literacy skills development has become a focus of my career activities and I aim to research in the area of emerging/converging literacy, Human Information Behaviour (HIB), and Information Seeking Processes (ISP).  However, I am keenly aware that to conduct such research requires holding a full-time position at an academic library. Current hiring trends precludes full-time positions, offering mostly term or sessional. However, I am optimistic that I can research the changes in user experience overtime when engaged in research using library databases within the context of HIB and ISP and focus on the mobile user in the very near future.

Transliteracy seems to provide a terminology to unify various perspectives on what it means to be literate and use information in the 21st century. The concept of transliteracy is not new; however, the application of the concept to the various media and formats used in current social and educational environments encompassing  literacy in technological, social, and cultural practices is new and gaining momentum in the library sector.  It is within that context where my professional research interest will develop.

Developing leadership attributes, competencies, and qualities is important to me as libraries continue shifting to embrace broad collaboration units and communities of practice.  I began studying at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, to complete a Gradutate Professional Certificate: Library Sector Leadership within the School of  Public Administration. Unfortunately, the university suspended the program and I will not be able to complete the program.

Blended teaching and learning will be changing dramatically in the next few years.  Developing strong and sound in-person and online instructional practice is an essential component of library instruction and I am pursuing a Provincial Instructor Diploma  through Vancouver Community College.

My ePortfolio , complete with a current Curriculum Vitae, details my mission statement, vision, and goals, instructional design principles,  instructional support materials, and chronicles my professional development.

I am a voracious reader, avid cyclist, obsessed cinephile, dedicated foodie, and profound friend to many.  My best friend is Kona Bona Bella, a German Short-haired Pointer.

Julie Anne Kent, Hons. B.A., M.L.I.S.

Kona at Petersons Creek

2 comments on “Library and Information Scientist

  1. Robert Columbia

    Hello! I recently came across the concept of transliteracy and was fascinated by the concept. I have known several people who, while “literate” in the sense of being able to read, write, and do basic arithmetic, seemed unable to master the concepts of word processing or electronic mail that so many people today take for granted as basic skills. If I may borrow a term from reading education, the people in the first group may be “functionally transilliterate” – they may be able to read a research article but have great difficulty creating a digital slide presentation out of it, or maybe they understand the concept of electronic mail but have a habit of using an inappropriate level of formality when writing email and end up alienating their audience.

    One thing I haven’t found a lot of information about is transliteracy assessment. The situation is not perfect by any means, but educators today have a set of validated educational assessments that can identify an estimate of a student’s level of reading and writing skills and may even be able to help identify specific gaps that should be remediated.

    Is there a “transliteracy test” or anything of that nature that exists or is likely to exist in the near future? For example, is it possible for someone to go get a meaningful certificate that certifies them as transliterate (and that, for example, could be used to get hired or qualify for further education) or get an assessment identifying specific educational gaps that would need to be rectified before the person would be considered to be transliterate?

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