by Alyssa Vincent, Oregon Chapter, Museums, Arts & Humanities Division
As an MLS student about to start my second year of study, I feel that I am gaining more of an understanding of what it will take to succeed in this profession. As I write this, I have just completed my “Research in Library and Information Science” class, and I know that the skills gained from that experience are the ones that will help me shape my future career.
A major foundation of this class was the concept of evidence-based practice. With budget cuts plaguing the information profession, nothing makes more sense than committing time and energy to conducting research that will enhance our services or identify weaknesses. For my evidence-based action plan paper, I chose to investigate the role of the librarian in a corporation and ways to improve that service. After many weeks of researching, I was able to formulate an action plan that both asserted that embedded librarianship was a worthwhile service model for corporations and provided steps on how to embed a librarian.
The difficult part of the realization that evidence-based practice through research is a key component to a thriving career is that the time that I was able to devote to research is a luxury in professional environments. So, what happens to my belief that research will move our profession forward when time is at a premium? It adapts and doubles in conviction. No, I may not have months to conduct studies of use patterns, but perhaps I can take a few moments to observe the foot traffic in my library. By continuously striving to work from a foundation of evidence-based practice, I will be improving the services that I can offer my users, even if I cannot devote weeks or months to developing theories or conducting surveys.
Alyssa Vincent is a midwesterner at heart who is enjoying pursuing her MLS in Portland, OR through Emporia State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and gender and women’s studies. When she’s not responding to posts on Blackboard or splitting her professional time between a technology-centered non-profit and a small architecture library, she’s reading about fashion, biking around town, and cooking. Her professional interests include digitization issues in relation to 3D objects and embedded librarianship, and she looks forward to somehow marrying those interests in the future.