A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


How will your present position and the conferment of your MLS give you a unique perspective on the profession?

Currently, I am a college assistant in the Gerald S. Lieblich Resource Learning Center and Bronx Community College Library. I assist students with their research queries and help familiarize them with word processing programs like Microsoft Word; in addition, I illustrate the importance of bibliographic applications like RefWorks, and suggest helpful websites like http://citationmachine.net through synchronous, one-on-one facilitation. The position also involves a nominal amount of hours helming the reference desk inside the library, and learning cataloging techniques and best practices through an informal apprenticeship with BCC's Cataloger. Even though I am contracted to work 20 hours or less a week, the librarians, technical and support staff have made me feel like an integral part of the scholarship that takes place at Bronx Community College, and I am most grateful.

As a library professional, I hope to gear my efforts in librarianship towards increasing Information Literacy for minority students in academic settings. My interest in this objective comes straight from my experiences as a high school teacher in the Bronx, and as a minority graduate student in the C.U.N.Y. system (Lehman and Queens Colleges). More importantly, I see a dire need for information specialists in the aforementioned areas because of the inconsistencies of our secondary public school system. I can tell you from first hand experiences that minority students at inner-city schools are not receiving the core information competencies promised to them by the system; in other words, just because they have Facebook and Myspace accounts or their schools have a smart board does not mean they are Information Literate or on their way to becoming Information Literate. They are not only being short-changed, they are dropping out at alarming rates and falling through the cracks more often than not.

When people say Academic Libraries they usually mean state-of-the-art Serapeums of Technology filled to the brim with volumes of printed materials. But, what about the students that attend institutes of higher learning that don't necessarily have the means to design and construct modern-day Serapeums of Technology? Should students that can't afford to attend certain institutes be left behind or occupy an inferior status in our society? As a country, shouldn't we focus more on students that have been short-changed by the educational system? Aren't minority students in inner-city schools more deserving of a parachute that ensures they are Information Literate? More importantly, how is our country ensuring that students from poorly-run high schools will be able to compete with their counterparts in India, Russia, and China? As a country, we seem to forget our most valuable resource is the manpower and brainpower created by dynamic teachers utilizing engaging curriculum.

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