The study of information communities provides a unique opportunity to research groups that seek and share information of a similar nature and in similar ways. It has been very enlightening not only to learn about what constitutes an information community, but to read about the various communities that my peers have chosen to research and their information seeking behaviors.
Through researching socially anxious college students and, more specifically, library anxiety, I have opened myself to a whole new avenue of interest. I started out this semester with an interest in academic librarianship. Over the course of the semester my work in this, and other classes, has led me to narrow that interest to research and instruction. Researching library anxiety has led to an interest in information literacy and the techniques used to teach it. It has also led to an interest in the ways that the academic library can promote and market the various services and events in the library.
In my capacity as a Library Specialist (Cataloger) in an academic library, I have already begun to apply some of the knowledge I have gained from this class and my research. Knowing how to identify and relate to information communities in general is invaluable. I am able to apply this to my interactions with patrons at the service desk. I have also been fortunate enough to begin to apply some of the knowledge gained from my research on library anxiety in various ways around the library. It has allowed me to intelligently contribute to discussions about how to relate to students. I have also been allowed to implement a few ideas that can serve both as icebreakers for interacting with students as well as gaining feedback that can potentially make the library seem more appealing and user friendly.
I hope to continue to apply this knowledge in my current position. I also aspire to attain a librarian position where I can use what I have learned. I will be submitting a poster proposal for the Pittsburgh LOEX 2016 Conference. I hope to be accepted to present my research on library anxiety in the poster session.