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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By teaching that we teach ourselves

It is by teaching that we teach ourselves,

by relating that we observe,

by affirming that we examine,

by showing that we look,

by writing that we think.

--- Henri Frederic Amiel

Being a Librarian in the first part of my career, I had been asked by many friends and library users the following question:

"You must be reading a lot, hence acquire a lot of knowledge, right?"

I think my ex-library colleague from NIE gave a very good answer in the form of "counter questioning":

"Do you think being a staff at a bank, counting a lot of money every day, makes the banking staff a rich person?"

I think librarian touches a lot of books in the process of work and read a lot of book cover, book spine, call number and contents pages etc... 

Being a librarian in the pass few decades, and now a library trainer and assessor, I may have easy assess to books in many libraries and searched and found useful information in many databases.

Yet all the books and information were irrelevant until I have a need to match the knowledge for some internal or external needs.

In very small way, I read to acquire some information and knowledge to fill my personal quest.

In most of my working hours, I was not acquire in-depth knowledge, but fight against time to  fulfil daunting tasks of find information on behalf of library users.  I learn to acquire the key to information and knowledge.  I hold the key, yet the treasure in the room is not in my possession.

Hence, I search the OPAC, online databases, academic journals and indexes in the book more often and do it much better than general public. 

Being a librarian, the job is to acquire the searching skills and browse many unwanted inform before we find the right one we need for our users.

In the process, we enrich our knowledge of "access to information" and very likely, we can and may deploy it if we have the time for the "knowledge tour" and become knowledgeable in a field of study!

If we are able to do it better than other, we are given the opportunity to teach, hence, "it is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think."


Dexterine Ho

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