This portfolio is an interactive representation of my learning experience as part of Kent State University's Master of Library of Information Science.
There isn’t much I can honestly say I believe in right now, but I believe in the conviction of just moving forward. Like many others, my life turned upside down after the 2016 election. I saw a side of my country I didn’t know existed; one that had always been there, but just out of my line of site. An ugly side, one I didn’t want to believe was real. But it was - it was very real, and we had to grapple with how to make sense of this new world we found ourselves living in. We are still grappling with it. The idea of what I believed my country to be, a country of open heartedness and kind people, shattered.
We find ourselves viewing the world through nationalistic-colored lenses, addicted to the very news that encourages our anxiety and depression, yet unable to look away. We turn off our television sets every evening despondent, yet wake up the next morning and continue to move forward, continue to march, continue to fight for equal rights, access to information, and a humane existence for all people and animals. The first realizations of how fake news had infiltrated our nation's psyche were a wake up a call for me as an information professional. Wait, you mean not everyone checks the source first for accuracy? Were all the information literacy classes we teach for naught? It was a huge indicator that the library and information science field was more needed than ever.
Coincidentally, the existing administration has spanned almost the exact amount of time that I have been in grad school, coloring my graduate school experience with a sense of dread and anxiety, all the while finding myself being challenged in new and exciting ways as I learned about how to design user interactions, manage vast amounts of knowledge, and provide unfettered access to that knowledge no matter who, what, or why. The news cycle kept spinning, and I kept moving forward.
The LIS profession has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Despite the endless editorials decrying the end of the profession, librarians and information professionals have kept moving forward. We have continued to develop innovative approaches to librarianship - designing makerspaces, partnering with community members and organizations, and shoehorning our way into discussions on the future of data and information, proving our worth in the new world of information management all the while utilizing knowledge gleaned from generations of librarians before us.
The world adapts and moves forward, my chosen profession adapts and moves forward, and so I must adapt and move forward, too. Just as libraries moved from card catalogs to digital catalogs, and now to advanced KOS systems, we find ourselves adapting to our new environments, no matter how impossible they may seem in the moment. Even now I am willing to wager a journalist is penning the next "Why Libraries Are Dying" op ed, but what they don't see is the innovation and determinedness behind library and information professionals that will propel us to adapt faster and with more efficacy with each passing year. As a newly minted MLIS graduate, I am proud of the education I received through the School of Information at Kent State University. My views have been forever changed; I'll never again be able to blame the user for a systems-centered problem, or claim ignorance to the inescapable power of the amount of data we find ourselves swimming in.
The curriculum at the School of Information is based off of the five program learning outcomes below. This portfolio will explore each learning outcome in depth through a series of projects I have completed as a master's candidate.
- Susannah Woodbury
Salt Lake City
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Click on the title of each Learning Outcome below to explore the contents, or toggle between sections using the navigation at the top of the page.
Kent State University, School of Information
Area of Specialization: Information Science & Technology
Graduating Semester: Spring 2018
Please click here to view my resume, or navigate to the About Me page.
Click the button below to view the courses I have taken during my master's program.