Newish information professionals and fearless risk-taking

What does big, bold, fearless, barrier breaking information professional practice look like (not this)?

Ross Harvey curmudgeon-ing?

Ross Harvey queried the value of new professionals groups, particularly in Melbourne, stating “we don’t want in our information professions people, whether ‘new’ or not, who continue to need the props that supportive environments provide”. Really? We don’t want as colleagues people who need supportive environments?  What an odd thought.

I wonder whether Ross’ query arises from the contrasts in his sources.

  1. On the one hand Ross seems to prefer a (UK-based, and relevant here) notion where a ‘new professional’ is one either (a) still in, or (b) recently finished course, or (c) in first post;
  2. So he is apparently bothered by his perceptions of a recent ‘proliferation’ of ‘new professional’ groups in Melbourne; apparently (from the above-quoted statement) because they may be serving/supporting people beyond such early situations—yet if Ross is thinking of the group newCardigan, as commenter Hugh surmises, then he has misapprehended that group’s purpose (think more new=fresh-thinking rather than new=young); and
  3. And Ross’s perception of what our profession *does* need is quoted from a report “Re-envisioning the MLS” prepared for a USA audience–where the professional status applies only to postgraduates.  In Australia one may start an information profession with an undergraduate degree in LIS.
What does big, bold, fearless, barrier breaking information professional practice look like (not this)?
CC-BY-NC image by Jon Lucas of Daniel Ilabaca performing handstand on a balcony rail from Flickr (not big, bold, fearless, barrier-breaking information professional practice?)

When my convention-bending is limited to vocabulary

So tell me–because I’m clearly not a bold, fearless, risk-taking, god-send to the profession who would, without support, obviously know –from whom does Ross expect the (un-propped) big, bold, fearless, barrier-breaking activity?  And, what does such activity look like?  On the one hand it seems like he is saying anyone beyond their first post should be kicking up an (unsupported) storm rather than collaboratively networking.

Yet the plea seems as directed to we ‘true’ new professionals, and if so I wonder: how is an Australian *new* information ‘professional’, ie one still in, or just out of their course (which in Australia may be a first undergraduate) going to be in a space/state of knowledge & power (particularly if they lack as yet a position) where they might “go ‘big’; break down disciplinary, social, and professional barriers”?

Perhaps, Ross might be bothered by the co-existence of “newCardigan“–started (I believe) by mostly mid/early-mid-career librarian-flock information professionals eager to connect with other-flock information professionals without the restrictions of flock-bound professional associations; and “GLAMR new professionals“–created within the archive-flock ASA.

While both bear the word “new” – they’re using it differently (new-thinking .v. newly-minted), have different structures (one monthly parties with only the support of colleagues; one unknown frequency with the support of an association), and probably have different goals, except when occasionally their goals of breaking down disciplinary, social and professional barriers intersects with (for one potentially including, and the other directed specifically at) new professionals.

Hey, I wonder if those groups might be interested in whatever b&f-b3u3 things it is that Ross wants to see?

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