I’m a student, a librarian, and a depository coordinator. It’s really all about access. Access to information, access to education.
I’ve been in higher education in one way or another–as a student, research assistant, and librarian–for 16 years. I spent the majority of my elementary and secondary school years dreaming about the day I’d get to go to college and choose what I got to learn (yes, nerdy, but if you’re reading this blog, the cat’s out of the bag already, right?). I love learning for myself because I want to KNOW THINGS (this is also why I am addicted to the internet, thrillers, news websites, and pointless celebrity gossip), but I love education itself because it opens people up to so many things.
Higher education has the power to change lives. It prepares people for a full and informed life, provides career preparation, answers questions while it creates new and deeper questions, gives broader perspectives, and helps people find new passions. I don’t believe everyone needs to or should go to college, but I believe everyone that wants to, should have that access. The more diverse a group of people attend our colleges and universities, the more we all benefit by seeing the world through a variety of lenses that differ by experience, age, culture, ethnicity, location, interests–you name it.
I’ve been a librarian for five years. Libraries are all about access to information, access without questions about WHY a patron wants to see something, respecting and protecting their privacy. Libraries allow people to self-direct their education and their recreation by choosing the information they ingest. Libraries now provide access not only to books, but to media and the internet, as well as access to trained information professionals that know where to find answers. I love being a part of that public service.
Being a federal and state depository library coordinator just enhances this idea: providing access to government information for the public, and permanently preserving it for the public. This is key to the protection of the governing of America of the people, by the people, and for the people. Thomas Jefferson advocated this access to government information, “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government.” Our system of checks and balances simply does not work if the public does not have access to the information with which to check their government.
I could go on for another hundred thousand words about all this, but I’ll get off the soapbox while you’re still here. It all boils down to: access for all, HUZZAH! *fistbump*