I am a qualified librarian and I can put a whole long list of letters behind my name. Between my Bachelors degree, my Masters degree and my Associate membership of ALIA, the letters are as long as my actual name.
So when should I use them? This all came from my dad – who is a fitter and turner by trade. I showed him a copy of my beautifully presented report from my study tour and he asked where all the letters were from behind my name. My dad is very proud of what I have achieved, even if he doesn’t understand the fuss and what its all about, but that question caught me by surprise.
So why didn’t I use the letters – its a formal report, going to be read by many people in library circles (and maybe some who are not). Would it have been legitimate to list degrees etc on the cover, to further indicate my qualification to conduct this tour, or would it have seemed like bragging to those who already know me and who will also read the report?
What about the presentations I will be doing that will also come out of this study tour? Should I put my qualifications on that, or just leave it as my name and position/library? I have been pondering this at work today, with some of the other librarians and none of us was able to come up with a definitive answer. We thought it would be appropriate to mention qualifications in a speaker’s introduction or on the blurb of a journal article, but anywhere else? We couldn’t decide.
So I thought I would ponder it here and see if any of you had any thoughts on this. We have worked hard for our qualifications, shouldn’t we be more forthright in displaying them and more often? Or is that bragging and inappropriately so in some circumstances. I would love to get your feedback, so please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
By the way, all those letters for me are:
BA(Lib) MBIT AALIA
Bachelor of Arts in Librarianship, Master of Business in Information Technology and Associate member of the Australian Library and Information Association. At least I can use the letters and not have to spell it out in full!