Tuesday, October 11, 2005

2 credits down, 61 to go! LIS 500 ended today with evaluations and a brief overview of upcoming attractions. These had to be four of the longest days of my life!

I was amazed to hear a fellow student today share that she had also thought libraries would be a stable place to work and was a bit surprised to find out that was not the case. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to think that.

Hey, I met more people interested in international libraries today. I sat next to Amy who has done a bit of work with Russian libraries. At the ALISS Mixer (to celebrate the end of LIS 500) I met Emily who is also interested in international work and is part of SIG-III.
So I was talking to Emily and she mentioned she'd done some work in Guatemala this summer with some libraries there. Wow! I've been really, really thinking about going to Guatemala in March for a Quaker conference. I've been thinking about it for months, but when school started the idea cooled off a bit. I should be a serious student and not think about traveling, and besides, it's going to cost a fair amount.
Anyway, as I talked to Emily she said I should go and if I wanted any contacts, she could try to set me up. Hmm, I'm starting to think I could do this after all and perhaps work in a library down there for a week. See what it's like, if I really do like it after all.
Also, when I told Emily about the Quaker conference, she mentioned that she'd gone to her first Quaker church in Philadelphia recently. She said she'd always been interested in the Quakers and wanted to try a meeting. Cool.

I'm seeing another aspect of this interest develop, and that's with native Americans or other populations that are different cultures within the US. What sort of library/information services are they getting? Is it useful? What do they need?

One of our guest speakers this morning works with Native Americans and is developing a new thesaurus of terms that is more culturally sensitive and understanding. She talked about how different cultures have different worldviews, different ways of knowing. I realize this, to some extent, but haven't done a lot of study into different worldviews.

Cheryl shared a somewhat generalized, but probably quite accurate, list of cultural differences.


traditional white european values---------Navajo values
mastery of nature ------------------------------ harmony with nature
scheduled living ---------------------------------non-scheduled
future-oriented -------------------------------- present-oriented
very competitive ------------------------------- non-competitive / deference
acceptance on basis of role/status------------- acceptance based on integrity
punishment related to guilt----------------------punishment related to shame
individuality/fame ------------------------------aninymity and humility
save for the future ----------------------------- share resources now

I thought this was very interesting.

Well, I really need to go. I have reading for tomorrow. A new class! Information Resources, Services and Collections. Then on Thursday I have Information Behavior. Sounds exciting, I know. =)

1 comment:

Jess said...

So i am gonna send you a book when i get it back called "Spoken Here" I think you will find it interesting. The subject is kind of a passion of mine...endangered languages. It talks about how language is not only a ways of communication but also a key to the values of a society. The structure of sentences can tell you where value is placed. I would give you examples but not from the top of my head. Just read the book when it comes and you will understand.