I’ve almost finished my first year of studying for my Masters in Information Science (Library and Information Practice) and its been an eventful year. My first semester was spent juggling shift work and studying, my second semester was completely different. During the summer break, I was involved in a road accident from which I was lucky to survive with injuries from which I would recover. Instead of juggling study with work, study is now my job. This life-changing event caused me to re-evaluate my priorities. Whereas before I felt I could always go back to nursing if things didn’t work out, I now know this isn’t an option. Life is too short to be working in a career I don’t love and I’ve still got a few years left. I want to still be in a career where I can help people, but I want one where I can use my love of knowledge and information to do this.
When I commenced the course, I initially had in mind that I wanted to be in a public library and surrounded by books, whilst being able to help people improve their literacy. However, as I have progressed, health librarianship has become more appealing. There are several reasons for this:
- I interviewed a teacher librarian for Management Issues for Information Professionals and one of the over-riding themes was that she loved being able to combine both her passions: teaching and librarianship.
- During Professional Practice, one of the guest speakers was a health librarian who said that she loved working with health professionals to help them pursue evidence based practice, and that it was useful in the job to have some medical knowledge.
- Finally, for my first fieldwork placement I applied to QUT library and have been placed with the health liaison team.
- The more I thought about the more I wanted to work in this field and have therefore started applying to medical libraries for my second field work placement. I feel that by utilising my existing knowledge base I will be better able to help others. I also know it is in the best interests of society in general if health practitioners have access to the best information so that their practice is evidence based. From past experience I know these professionals are time poor, so by helping them find the best information available, I will be making their job easier and allowing them to spend more time on patient care.
A lot has changed in the last year, but one thing has not changed and that’s my desire to be an information professional. Whilst my hoped for career direction has changed from working in a public library to a medical library, I still want to help people to be the best they can. I want to work to my strengths and by doing this feel that I will achieve my full potential and be a valuable member of the information profession.