Kristin Peace

2022 Ken Haycock Award Recipient

Thank you all, along with Dr. Haycock who made this award possible, for your guidance, encouragement, and support.

In 1997, Michael Gorman wrote a book, "Our Singular Strengths," in which included a rephrasing and revamping of Ranganthan's five laws of library science. It was an audacious undertaking and not, in my opinion, entirely successful, even after cutting him slack for severely underestimating technology's future. But one of the re-phrasings struck me, and stuck with me, from the moment I read it. Gorman rewrote the third law, "Every reader his book," to read "I will be the connection between the users of my library and the materials they need."

That idea of being a connection has informed every step of my MLIS journey. I'd just like to get a graduate degree, a Master's in MLIS, in order to make a career change from television to librarianship. Now, in show business, people talk a lot about the power of information; the importance of knowing something first, of knowing the right people, and then guarding that information within silos of companies and networks and agencies, but at SJSU, I learned that the true power of information is made manifest by sharing it, not hoarding it.

Librarians are a bridge between a library's gifts and its community. Sharing knowledge is what librarians do, grounded in a deep belief in the power of ideas, in the good of a well-informed community and the benefit of the curiosity stated and the intellect stimulated. Whether through approved discoverability, broader accessibility, wider outreach, or increased literacy, librarians facilitate the spread of knowledge in public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, and school libraries. Taking the knowledge and the sharing of knowledge seriously is perhaps more important now than ever.

Just as we are all able to share tonight's ceremony together yet apart, online, so too does more and more information become a click away on the Internet. For the first time in history, we can easily reach outside our own "life in the rounds," as Dr. Chapman described it, and put information into our own created context.

Today, following Ranganthan's third law means more than putting the right book into the right hands. It means helping to create networks of information. As David Weinberger put it in his book, "Too Big to Know":

"No longer can we tease apart information, communication, and society."

For me, and I suspect just about everybody else in attendance tonight, helping to create those networks of information is exciting and joyful and a little bit intimidating, but mostly well-worth the work put into earn a Master's in Library and Information Science. Doing that work semester by semester, I expected to learn the tools of the librarian trade, cataloging and classification, collection management, user services, and then as I began to focus on academic librarianship, those expectations broadened to include learning about scholarly communication and bibliographic instruction, research methods, yet some of the most impactful lessons that I learned, were also the most unexpected.

Perhaps I've been jaded by years in Hollywood, a business known for swimming with sharks, and professional tantrums, with a sincere commitment to collaboration and cooperation among my classmates was a revelation. In every class, in every blog, every discussion board, webinar and conference, I witnessed future librarians and future information scientists living the promise of information as power by sharing knowledge with each other. Generosity of my classmates in exchanging lived experiences, successes and failures, did as much to shape my academic and career goals as assigned coursework; all the more remarkable, I think, considering it was done over Zoom from around the world and rarely ever in real time.

As an iSchool graduate, my expectations are shifting yet again. Mainly, I expect to get a job as a librarian at some point and my hopes have been further refined. Librarian Peter Morville wrote: "The information that's hard to find will remain information that's hardly found," which I believe and I believe to be true for librarians themselves. My hope for us all is that we leave SJSU with a belief in the power of shared knowledge that never wanes, that we continue to ask for and offer help with an open mind and open heart and stand where we may be found, in real life and online.

Here's hoping we go forth with our degrees and continue to champion for creativity in all its formats and freedom in all its forms. And may we never take for granted the opportunity in front of us to be a connection that makes a difference.

Thank you all and congratulations.