ILTA White Papers

The New Librarian

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Page 48 of 87

ENVIRONMENT by Terry Psarras of Carlton Fields I'd say that the changes in my career have been due to a combination of environmental and personal factors. On one hand, changes in the way libraries work and information is processed create opportunities to branch out to other areas of work. AN EVER-CHANGING Technology and changes in the structure of our collections allow, even dictate, looking for activity in other areas. On the other hand, I have had a natural inclination to try new things — especially in the technology arena — and to not be constricted by the traditional label used to define what a librarian is. IT BEGINS WITH GREAT LEADERSHIP In 1986, I started working as a library assistant in the government documents section of an academic library. Working for a wonderful librarian, I learned things about the profession that I still use 25 years later, and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there. Shortly after I graduated from college with a degree in business marketing and management in 1991, I started working as a library assistant at a law firm. My luck continued, as I worked under another great librarian. She was great for my development, allowing and encouraging me to expand my horizons. After she retired, I became the head librarian in 1995. STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE Until recently, my career trajectory had been pretty normal Terry Psarras, MLIS is the Manager of Legal Information Resources at Carlton Fields. He can be contacted at tpsarras@ for a librarian. Then things began to change. The law firm I worked for created their first website in the mid- to late-'90s. As the firm was looking for someone to manage it, I was the only one interested in taking on such a project. Being at the right place at the right time — and keeping an open mind — helps! More important, skills that librarians possess, such as organization and classification skills, came in very handy with the project. I also built the first, very basic intranet at that firm. This was also a natural extension of my knowledge and duties inside the firm because the technology allows for 50 AALL/ILTA White Paper

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