Not because it is Simple, but because it is Complex

By Joshua Salmans

Here it is! Perhaps you haven’t been on the edge of seat waiting for it, but I myself have struggled to produce my first blog post after almost a year of pondering its possible existence. I am a 34-year-old graduate student at the University of South Carolina (USC) who has frequently struggled to find voice on this small blueberry we call home. My journey to find voice is probably the responsible agent for my curiosity and passion for information literacy in librarianship.

I shall avoid boring you with the ramblings about my adult journey other than to express how often I felt alone when seeking information about complex things this world throws at us. In my experience, librarians (I might add teachers here as well) were one of the few in a constant state of readiness on the front lines of information literacy.

Archibald MacLeish, the poet Librarian of Congress during World War II, once exhorted librarians to be more than “patented machines” for delivering books to the user—rather, they should be “champions of a cause.”[i] This cause, he speaks of, is not an easy task, but one to be reckoned with: creating an intellectual learning space for a democratic electorate to flourish as an informed citizenry.

Some 76 years later, David Lankes, the new and upcoming Director of the School of Information and Library Science (SLIS) at USC, reminds us of this powerful impetus in his vlog post, “Rocket Science is Easy.”[ii] He makes a case for librarianship maintaining relevancy by focusing efforts on solutions to its community’s complex issues. Continue reading “Not because it is Simple, but because it is Complex”