Monday, November 2, 2009

Into the real world: a day in the life of a new information professional

This is a presentation I did last week for a group of 'Communications - information and media' students. I was part of a 5 person panel and each of us presented a typical day as a recently graduated information professional. There was an interesting and diverse range of careers from librarians to, information architect, online presence consultant and senior knowledge manager.

The students asked us to explain the relevance of our studies to the 'real' world which is somewhat explained in the presentation from my point of view. We each explained different aspects of how theory relates to practice but we all agreed that being able to compare, critically analyse and synthesise theories into practice is a vital skill used on a daily basis. This understanding of theory provides the foundation for understanding our clients/users and the how/what/why of their information behaviour.

They also wanted to know what kind of jobs there will be for them in the future. A tricky one to answer. I suggested that future information professionals will have a lot of flexibility and freedom to pursue their interests and hone their skills in whichever 'job' they happen to have - which is already what I see happening in my own experience. Employers in this field seem to be very encouraging of staff developing skills and interests that can be of use to the organisation. We also suggested that the skills and experience gained at uni will put them in a position to land a future job that may not even exist yet.

My final piece of advice for future information professionals is: constant change means constant learning, continue to play and be curious.


  1. Hi Sophie,
    I was one of the students at that presentation. I was very inspired by all of the professionals that were there that day.
    But I was wondering, is social networking all that you really do? Or is there more? I remember you mentioned that there was a difference between the librarians at the loan desk and the librarians at the customer help desk. But do you still get to experience both jobs?
    Have a great Monday night,

  2. Hi Nicole,

    No, social networking is not all I do. At the moment I'm involved in many projects but because my special interest is emerging technologies I tend to infuse the projects I work on with my interests and skills in that area. For example, at the moment I'm involved in trying to make our information lteracy programs more interactive and engaging. That involves playing with new online tools and figuring out ways they could be useful and effective in the delivery of information literacy both online and in the physical world.

    Hope that helps!