Gabor Por's Portfolio (aka PORtfolio)
For the (distance) Master of Library and Information Science
At the University of Washington's Information School
years ago I took my first skills and aptitude assessment test ever.
The results recommended a career as a general, a priest, or a librarian.
I always considered myself a pacifist and I had already studied at a
rabbinic seminary. The latter revealed that I have no desires to perform
pastoral duties. My path was cleared to train to become a librarian.
The above experience was only a small part of my journey towards becoming
an information professional. I have been working with and on the internet
since 1994. After spending the majority of the intervening years building
web sites and applications, I was ready to move on and grow into another
direction, but I did not want to abandon all the skills and experience
I acquired in the technology industry. Applying for the iSchool, the
Information School, was a natural choice. I saw this as an enabling
opportunity to combine my interest in technology, love for books, tendency
to organize information carrying objects, and dedication for serving
I was not disappointed. Occasionally, it was hard to find the amount
of time needed to study, because I was working full time throughout
my time at the iSchool. Nevertheless, I feel proud that I managed to
finish the program in six consecutive quarters and still maintain a
The five sections of this portfolio provide good framework thinking
through how I have changed in the last 18 months. My intellectual
horizon and capability to process new and more abstract information
grew. I mastered theoretical concepts, conducted extensive research,
and wrote exciting papers. I not only feel more capable now than I
did before, but strongly believe that I gained the mental tools necessary
to be a successful information professional.
While helping two institutions in organizing their libraries, I offered
valuable expert service and familiarized myself with the warm
feeling of doing so. Now that I have integrated this feeling, I am
ready to do more. I particularly enjoyed offering and using my newly
acquired skills. They are like muscles, I want to exercise them.
I overcame my apprehension of and resistance to teaching.
I taught in various forms and am no longer frightened of the responsibility
and performance required. I discovered the joy of sharing knowledge
with others. I am looking forward to many years as an enabler and
I no longer see myself as a person who is always a follower and never
a leader. I discovered my leadership potential and the channels
through with I am comfortable practicing it. I can finally see myself
with a distinct, yet not authoritarian leadership style, who, with
the help of others, gets things done.
I have gained new technology skills and have integrated both
the old and new into a coherent framework. I can see them from a big
picture view, where each piece has its own, albeit ever evolving,
role. My facility to learn new technologies and my radar to become
aware of them have both drastically increased.
None of this would have been possible without my iSchool experience.
I am a smarter, kinder, more assertive, more technologically savvy person,
and I am better prepared to teach, than I was before.