There is, I would argue, a place in Library and Information Science (LIS) for anyone and everyone, and this issue of Library Student Journal, November 2006, is a wonderful example of the wide variety encompassed by the field. We have here, among other things, an insiderís view of a developing Institutional Repository, a look at the history of poetry in childrenís literature, and a Christmas tale to help you budding catalogers through these cold, dark winter days.
If you are just beginning your LIS education or considering an LIS career, be encouraged that you will have more room for deciding your own fate than in any other profession. We are all, in this field, generalists at heart—our usefulness is in our ability to see beyond the boundaries of a specific discipline, to maintain a large and multidisciplinary toolbox—but there is plenty of opportunity to specialize in whatever best suits us. You may choose to specialize in a specific type of library or a specific aspect of librarianship. Or you may decide to focus on the librarianship of any number of specific subjects that interests you. Whatever you choose you will have the best of both worlds: the flexibility to do any number of things and the freedom to specialize in whatever you find most rewarding.
Students of most fields face this dilemma: prepare for the dream job or prepare for the job that actually exists. Those for whom this is not a contradiction are lucky but few. There are almost always compromises to be made and there is often an invisible track one must follow to reach the promised successful career—indeed, the LIS field includes many individuals who started down one track only to find themselves headed in the wrong direction. But in LIS if you follow your interests and indulge your passions, the excitement you have for whatever you do best will be rewarded.
So, as you read this issue of Library Student Journal, I hope you will appreciate the wide variety of topics covered and be glad you are in such an all-encompassing field. And I hope you will keep this in mind: this is a field which rewards people for doing exactly what they love to do and employers for hiring people who do exactly what they love to do.
Eli Guinnee is editor-in-chief and founder of Library Student Journal. He has a bachelor's degree in history and anthropology from Colorado State University, where he worked in the reference, circulation, and interlibrary loan departments of the university library. He has worked as a cataloguer at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, and is now pursuing a Masters of Library Science at the University of Buffalo.
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