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Christina's LIS Rant
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
  I AM A LIBRARIAN AND WANT A PHD!
(roar!)
(commence rant - my opinion only obviously)
I am a librarian - I am a professional - I help connect people to information. I work reference, public services, whatever you want to call it. I do research for scientists and engineers at a research lab (and for the 1,000,000,000th time, no, we do NOT have students) and also an occasional Sunday at the local public library.

I still believe in research. I believe in libraries - libraries as place, libraries as collections, libraries for and as community. I believe in librarians - professional librarians with MLS degrees - who can organize said collection and who can help connect people to the information they need. I think the degree gives you valuable training and insight that you can't get from OJT.

I believe in library schools - professional training places. I actually kind of "get" iSchools sometimes when I squint really hard (for other information professionals - information managers, records managers, HCI professionals).

I want my PhD (and will start continue working on my comps proposal - I promise - as soon as I finish this rant!). I can't write for s$%+, I'm scattered, my husband is dead set against it, my in laws think I'm crazy, my dog is worried, my parents are supportive but don't know how to help... but I want it and I will do it! (even if it kills someone, hopefully not me)

  1. I want to be proficient at gathering that research needed for evidence-based practice
  2. I honestly believe that I can make a difference - I can study science/scientists, social software, scholarly communication, and help scientists do their work better and yes, eventually make the world a better place. I can help science librarians and science libraries *be* better. Maybe one day, I can help train new science librarians (but it will never be my first job - I am still a librarian)
  3. It's not just a piece of paper or a set of random hoops. It's a journey. It's an apprenticeship. It's a transformation. It's a beginning. There are hassles -- and more for me than for full time students -- but that's trivial. (I was in the Navy, so I know hassles and believe me, you know nothing of hassles)
(rant off)
 
Comments:
Good luck!
 
I don't think you're crazy for wanting to do it. You can tell them I said so.
 
Go for it. You have a active mind, you write well enough, have the drive (at this moment). Seems like a natural. I have no desire for one, I think about another MS or an advanced certificate at times. The very focused research holds little attraction for me. It seems you have a particluar area you have a strong intrest in studying. No reason you shouldn't as far as I can see.
 
Christina, breathe deep...DEEP. You WILL get your PhD and you'll do incredible things with it! We all believe in you (as much as you believe in yourself).
 
If you are that driven, you should go for it! For all the reasons you mention, PLUS you will be even that more able to teach the next generation.

All the best!!
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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