New [Librarian/Graduate/Professional] – is it all just semantics?

I see some differences in these three terms (my reflections are my own, & may change in the future, this is today’s reflection):

  • new librarian –> someone who has recently begun working as a librarian.
  • new graduate –> someone who has recently achieved the requirements of a particular qualification.
  • new professional –> someone who has recently achieved professional registration.

Do our customers differentiate between these terms? Do our employers differentiate between these terms? Do our pay-scales reflect any differences between these three terms? Does the industry differentiate between these terms? Do we self-identify with different terms?

Does it matter?

The enthusiasm & willingness of people to join in recent discussions and to volunteer for different roles in the recently set-up New Professionals NZ network shows that there’s a gap in the support network in the New Zealand LIS industry.

For some, it is a gap while they are studying, for others it is a gap once they have finished studying. For some, it is a gap when they first enter the library workforce, for others it is a gap as they move into their first senior/qualified/management role.

There is a definite willingness of the part of more experienced librarians to support the New Professionals NZ network. There is also a wistfulness from many who wished there had been an opportunity to participate in something like this when they were “new”.

However people choose to participate in this new network is an exciting part of a new network becoming established. The network may choose to replicate overseas models (ALIA’s New Grads, IFLA’s NPSIG), or the network may choose to embed itself in existing local models (LIANZA Groups or SIGs). The network may choose to establish a new model of participation. It will be up to the participants to determine how they choose to establish themselves as a network.

In the end, do the semantics matter at this stage? It’s really up to the people stepping up to participate to determine what they call themselves.

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