First off, the title of Rule and Besen’s article is fantastic. It’s The once and future information society which is a play off Arthurian legend which I love. So that was a good start to the article. When Audrey ended her blog post with “Here’s to the future and, hopefully, job security” it only made me a little (re: a lot) paranoid as I come up to my graduation. I read this right before I started this article and I think that’s why the part that drew me in was the section called ‘The rising importance of formal education’.
I’ve put myself into all this debt to get a Master’s degree in order to join a specific profession but as I look for jobs, all of them are saying ‘5-7 years experience required’ or ‘expertise with xyz’ (xyz being all these systems you can’t get experience in unless you get a job that uses them…). It’s very disheartening. What’s all this education for if employers don’t use it as a foundation and mold you into their perfect employee? Rule and Besen even say “Much of the skill necessary for most work roles is acquired on the job”. Welp… Especially as I look for a job in the archives profession and they require “a MLS/MLS with a concentration in archival studies” which my school doesn’t even offer. I think the argument I’ve heard about why the LIS professions requires a Master’s degree can be summed up in one quote from this article:
As a number of writers have argued, formal educational credentials may simply serve as a ‘screening device’ or proxy for other qualities of interest to employers – congenial manners, steady work habits, or the status attributed to formal education. (pg. 336)
Tremblay³ laid out a good general overview of the information society and different theories that relate to that idea, however depressing it is (thanks go to Rachel for preparing me for that). I got what Tremblay was saying but it didn’t link to knowledge management in my mind.
Now Stock². That was cool. I loved the urban planning combined with knowledge management. This whole papers concept of access and accessibility and openness was a dream. It sounds absolutely amazing and if more people understood the concepts, ideas, and suggestions (like the Icelandic model of their entire population having access the licensed literature) in this article, knowledge managers, librarians, archivists, and all related professionals wouldn’t have such a hard time getting our jobs supported FULLY.
This weeks readings were… diverse and interesting to say the least. Some of my favorites so far.
Words I Had to Look Up
None this week! Isn’t that cool?!
¹ Rule, J. and Besen, Y. (2008). The once and future information society.
Theory and Society, 37(4):317–342.
² Stock, W. G. (2011). Informational cities: Analysis and construction of
cities in the knowledge society. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 62(5):963–986.
³ Tremblay, G. The information society: from fordism to gatesism. Canadian
Journal of Communication20.4 (Fall 1995): 461-482.