Do Embedded Librarians Have Identity Crises?

There are times when I feel almost rudderless in Libraryland. These usually coincide with ALA conferences or some big kerfuffle in the profession that doesn’t really seem to impact what I do as a librarian. (Yes, it’s all about me.) The feeling also happens when I go to transportation conferences or meetings. I’ve been working hard over the past year to insert myself into any committee or community that is concerned with the management and access of transportation information. It’s a a logical fit. Librarians know how to organize and manage information. At first I was met with questions like, “But these aren’t reports, what can you do?” but now everybody knows who I am and understand why I keep turning up.

The problem now is that I think I’ve gone too far. I want to be a transportation engineer. Now, I sort of like not being in school or worrying about paying for tuition, but I also have this innate desire to be more involved with research. I wonder if I would have more opportunities or street cred, pardon the pun, if I had a ME to back it up. When I started library school lo those three years ago, I never thought I would already be planning my escape, but it’s not really leaving the library world. It’s more about taking my skills as a librarian and information professional deeper into my subject matter. Whether or not you would call me a librarian is moot, I want to make it easier for people to access and share their data for planning and decision making. It’s a worthwhile goal, innit?

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