MLIS Graduate Portfolio

Justin Barnett

Professional Development & Lifelong Learning

I have demonstrated competency in Professional Development and Lifelong Learning by examining the structure and requirements for tenured librarians in SLIS729 (Academic Libraries). This reqiured understanding the role and expectations on informational professionals in an academic environment as well as knowing what skills are necessary to develop within the field. By looking at those requirements, I was able to construct a career plan that helps shape the job positions I will be looking for, as well as what organizations and communities I am most apt to be involved with.

Reflection and Analysis

When I started this program in SLIS701, one of the earliest assignments was developing a professional development plan. It would have been simple to include that as the demonstration of my competence on the topic, but even a year later, much less the three it has been now, it seems hopelessly naive and vague. Instead, I am glad to have evaluated it more thoroughly in a later course, and I expect I will need to do so again each time I find myself in a new job. While broad strokes, like being involved in professional organizations, are potentially always present, the details themselves are always going to be shaped by my current surroundings.

It is said that no plan survives contact with the enemy; perhaps it is also true that no professional development plan survives contact with the job market. The things I need to do to pursue a career in academic libraries are, on paper, simple, but in practice... more difficult. I look now at this assignment (which I still appreciate) after ten months of job searching and recognize that while they are reasonable goals, opportunities are more likely to shape the direction I take.