When I first begun my journey as an information professional (IP), I too thought that it would be all about the books. I thought that any role I pursued would be about finding materials, using materials, checking in materials and not much else, apart from creating guides and having some online support available. However, from studying Library Science and working as a graduate trainee and library assistant, I have found that being an IP is not just about having access to the materials. It’s about what you can do as an IP to help your clients/patrons/students/customers, acquire the information they need, which is not limited to books and journals.
When working in a company, people may need information on how to better communicate with their peers or their clients or advice on how to run their business. In a university students need information on how to write their essays, applying for jobs or further education possibilities.There are so many roles attached to being an IP that don’t just involve showing people where to find information. We are the information. We are the materials.
I have often been told that we are a brand and that we need to promote ourselves. Thus we must actively be involved with the things that are important to our clients/patrons/students/customers. This includes being online using social media, offering services that will enable them to continue with their studies or businesses and thinking about how our own unique interests and talents can be used to showcase that information.
Becoming an IP seems fun and exciting, because I have the opportunity to get to really know the people I am there to help, in terms of what they would need from me and how they would prefer to have that information. In addition, I get to increase my knowledge base and build on my creative skills.