For this month of June, Karryl Kim Sagun shares with us her LIS journey. She is a librarian at the Rizal Library and has been practicing the profession for nearly three years now. In that short span of time, Ms. Sagun has been invited to speak at national and international LIS conferences. She graduated BLIS from UP Diliman and holds a Master in Technology Management.
a. What's your lib story? Describe how you made the choice of majoring in LIS and what was college life like for you as a LIS major. You can cite challenging stories and success stories while studying the course.
People often mistook me as a shiftee when I was a college freshman (how dare they, I was only fifteen then!), but LIS was my first choice when I took the UPCAT. I am one of those pure-bred LIS majors in our community.
It was my Dad who convinced me to take the course, perhaps he thought that I am fit to be a librarian as he observed me, as early as sixth grade, put my own version of accession numbers on my Archie comics before I “loan them out” to my friends (and yes, I also gave them library cards and issued due dates). My high school friends thought otherwise, though. They said I’ll be one heck of a crazy librarian, should I really end up being one. But hey, look at me! As prim and proper as a librarian should be! HAHAHA!
Success stories? I guess finding a mentor in the School of Library and Information Studies helped me a lot. I love my profs, but it was Atty. Vyva Aguirre (who was Dean at that time) who I consider as my mentor in SLIS. She gave me really good advice (especially during thesis writing).
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being an LIS major is explaining to people what LIS is. Back then, it wasn’t as popular, and the course is also enjoying a better reputation today than it did when I was a student. It didn’t help that my lola (grandmotehr) thought I would die a spinster because of pursuing LIS! Nanghinayang siguro siya sa genes namin! Hahaha!
b. What has been the greatest challenge you've faced so far as a licensed and working librarian? Why do you say it's a challenge?
Well, being a licensed and working librarian years after graduation! When I started working for Ateneo in 2010, it was my first time to really practice the profession. I finished BLIS in 2007, and I used to work as a copyright associate in a fashion publishing company, and then a sales coordinator for medical books. In Ateneo, I had to conduct marketing activities to promote the different sections of the library. Mrs. Lourdes David, who was Director of the Rizal Library then, had to have me rotated in all the sections of the Rizal Library in the course of two months, including technical services—and my, my, to say that my cataloguing skills have gotten really rusty would be an understatement.
c. What is your area of expertise in LIS?
Marketing. I don’t think I’m as good in any other aspect of LIS, really. Although I’m really enjoying reference work, as I have recently been tasked to be part of the reference team in Rizal Lib.
d. What do you think are the requirements and preparations necessary for becoming a LIS professional?
Service orientation, attention to detail, and a little bit of crazy. Having a mentor wouldn’t hurt, either.
e. What rewards have you reaped from being a LIS professional?
Erm, doughnuts, cupcakes, and cups of coffee from happy customers! Haha! Hmm, on a more serious note, I have experienced things I don’t think I would have experienced should I have chosen a different field. The best ones would be being presented with opportunities for travel and research, and gaining a lot of awesome friends along the way.