Professional Philosophy of Practice
I have a teacher and mentor who frequently tells her students to "stand on the shoulders of giants". When I first heard the quote, I instantly fell in love with the saying, which as it turns out, was not specifically created for Google Scholar (as I had originally thought). Though perhaps made most famous by Sir Isaac Newton, the quote can be traced back centuries before his birth (Popova, 2021). And yet, it has endured.
Stephen Hawking's 2002 book, a compilation of historical texts with his added commentary, is called On the Shoulders of Giants. Oasis's fourth album, released in 2000, is titled Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. References to the quote can be found in an episode of the TV show, The X-Files; the movie, The Social Network; a history-of-drumming video by American drummer Steve Smith; and even on British currency (Wikipedia). In science, mythology, philosophy, and the arts, creators have been using historical knowledge to build and improve their understanding - changing the world.
My philosophy of practice stems from the firm belief that all people are inherently curious. As librarians, we must create welcoming communities that openly and positively demonstrate the power information access can have on societies. Librarians have the critical task of finding and disseminating information to help patrons enhance their knowledge and grow the information available to all.
Working in a STEM R&D library, was at first, intimidating. I don't know physics, I can't pronounce multi-syllabic scientific names, but the knowledge I do have - with software, with workflows, with platforms - contributes in a direct way to someone else's knowledge, and therefore furthers the information that is available to the world. It is both humbling and inspiring to know that the part I play in information-sharing, no matter how small, contributes to the overall knowledge of the community, and therefore, the future. Being a librarian doesn't just mean helping those who come in during your shift; it means that you have the privilege and honor of being a part of every learning that comes after.
My philosophy of practice is based on the quote "stand on the shoulders of giants". I want to be those shoulders that others stand on. I want to raise others up. A year into my current position, I know that I don't have to create original work to contribute knowledge. I can support knowledge by informing, teaching, disseminating, and advocating. In my role, I can be a part of an entire community that is ready and willing to help those who are curious. In other words, I can be a giant.