Last year after many years as a registered nurse, I found myself facing a crossroads. I no longer wanted to continue. In my current career but was confused about what I wanted to do. I stopped to consider what I enjoyed about nursing and it came down to two main things. Helping people and teaching them, aspects at which I also excelled. I needed to find a career which encompassed these, so I went to see a career counsellor and librarian was the result. Coincidently it is also my compulsion to catalogue and organise everything I own. My next step was to find a course provider. I found Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) website and as it is commuting distance for me and personally I work better in face to face classes, QUT it was. I started the Masters in July 2015 and I really feel I have found my calling, as I have loved every minute of it and achieved things I never thought I would, such as webpage design.
Before I embarked on my career change, I thought an information professional was someone working in the technology field, such as on IT helpdesks or website design. My understanding has now widened in that I now feel it is a professional who manages information and helps others to access it. The information can be in any form such as electronic or print. The profession include librarians, information managers and archivists. Information professionals are essential in the community in order to manage the vast quantity of information which has become available in recent years with the advent of the internet. They are also necessary to help people find the particular information they need in this ever expanding cloud, and ensuring that the information is relevant and correct. Libraries are important in that they reduce the digital and information divide within communities by providing computers, Wi-Fi and expert professionals to navigate and assist.
I see my career progressing within the public library field as I feel libraries are an important part of the community and are not just providers of books. They serve to educate and bring together the community and serve as hubs. I am also passionate about literacy following a spell working in offender health, where I was shocked with the prevalence of low literacy amongst the clients, particularly the indigenous ones. I would like to be involved in closing this divide in literacy, along with the digital and information divide. Libraries are evolving constantly and I plan to evolve professionally with them as my career progresses.
However, I may decide in the future that I want my career to progress in another field within the information sector as may knowledge increases. I feel that by completing this degree I am opening up my career to a myriad of possibilities.