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What’s In a Name?

Hello My Name Is

Photo by Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr

I started this blog in late 2009 as a way to stay connected to librarianship. At the time I had just moved across the country with my husband for his first teaching position at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. I left behind a solid academic librarian job at the University of Houston in hopes that I would eventually be able to pick up my library career in Southern Maryland (a somewhat isolated, but beautiful part of the state). After two years of writing, reading, volunteering at different types of libraries, and working part-time at both the St. Mary’s College Library and a local independent bookstore, I was fortunate to gain a full-time, tenure track librarian position at St. Mary’s College in 2011.

The name of this blog–The Freelance Librarian–made sense when I was in between full-time gigs. I may not have been employed as a librarian, but I always felt like one. When I started working at St. Mary’s I added in a “Formerly” and suddenly I was blogging under The Formerly Freelance Librarian for the next three years.

These days I’ve been bristling at the sight of that name on my blog. I started feeling as though the name just wasn’t a good fit anymore. It referred to a time, that, although important in my professional development, was no longer the way I wanted to define myself. I didn’t want to be the librarian who used to be on a job hiatus (as so many of us end up being for one reason or another). Throughout those two years of un- and under-employment I managed to keep myself connected to libraries by of course reading, volunteering, working part-time, and staying involved in professional organizations. But what kept me blogging, writing, and emotionally checked-in to libraries was a constant need to ask questions about my environment. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was making sense of my surroundings and librarianship through inquiry, and it’s a habit I just can’t seem to shake.

I try to encourage my students to ask questions when I teach, I help them make sense of their research through guided inquiry exercises, and I am always interested in how I can help students formulate better questions. Asking thoughtful, insightful questions is tough business–I often can’t seem to articulate the confusion floating in my brain as a question–but it’s important business. Hence the new name of this blog: More Questions Than Answers. There won’t be a radical change in blog content. I’ll still be writing about academic libraries and librarianship with a heavy slant towards teaching information literacy and visual design in libraries. I just feel as though now the name of the blog reflects my thought-process and inspiration for writing.

And no, not all post titles will come in the form of a question because a) I was never that good at Jeopardy and b) I get tired of hokey-folksy writing real quick-like y’all.

 

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