I am at my core an educator. I always have been and always will be an educator. My first job, at age 13, was as a swimming instructor. During my undergrad, I was a TA. I wandered away from educating for a few years but was again drawn to teaching. It is my calling. Though I am working on my MLIS, some might think I’m seeking to escape teaching but that is far from the truth. Librarians are educators, just in a different setting. I’m saving that for another post later though.
When we were assigned the task of creating a blog, I was a bit baffled as to what direction we were supposed to take this. Now I know how my students feel when I say to write a poem.
They ask, “What should it be about?”
I respond, “Anything you feel inclined to write about.”
They stare at me blankly. Because I teach middle school, I follow up with several guiding questions to help them come up with a topic. I, however, am in grad school. The professor did not give us guiding questions. Grad school is not about coddling and hand holding.
A couple semesters ago, our TA told us in one of our chats that we were knowledgeable professionals, that we should write with authority. We could write and get published in a peer-reviewed journal if we were so inclined. I sat there and stared blankly at the computer screen as I listened to her voice. I am 41 years old, yet sometimes I forget that I am that. I think part of why I love to learn is that it makes me feel young. Maybe I will try to get published one day.
Meanwhile, I have this blog that has been wandering aimlessly. My first step to bringing this to order and purpose is to decide my audience.
In truth, I hope to write in a way that appeals to a great many people. I must know who I’m writing to in order to choose a correct voice. Originally, I was writing to my professors, but that is incredibly daunting. As I said earlier, I am an educator. What on earth could I write that would educate my educators? People who have a million times more experience, and they hold doctorates? That is ludicrous!
So, obviously, my professors are not the audience I’d ideally choose to write to. Who could I help educate? Fellow students? Yes. Prospective students? Yes. Either of those would work and I believe are a good target audience for me.
Something has been nagging at me since I began this program. When I tell people that I’m studying to become a librarian, they will sometimes ask why. They ask, “Hasn’t computers kinda made librarians obsolete?”
To which I think, “How rude!” Yes, I think this in Michelle Tanner’s voice. #childofthe90s
But their response is an honest response. They just don’t know what all librarians can do for people. So many people I’ve talked to have had similar experiences. I see an opportunity to educate. Librarians must find a way to let people know that we cannot be replaced with an internet search box. We are so much more! This is what I want to do. I want to educate others about librarianship in a loving and sometimes humorous way. I want to equip librarians and library students with a way to share that knowledge. Oh, lookie there! I have a mission statement!
So I have a target audience: librarianship students and anyone I can share my knowledge of librarianship with, likely teachers.
Bonus! I stumbled upon my mission statement. That really was an accident. I may examine it in a later post to refine it further.