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I was drawn to Information Science, after having lived in Finland for a year, before completing my BA. Learning Finnish, such a uniquely different language than English or Spanish, prompted me to question the role of language in the definition of thought. I began to ponder whether thought-- and information -- could exist, without words or language.

A professor at my undergraduate school, Hampshire College, suggested that I could explore this question via a graduate degree in Information Science. I applied and was accepted into the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, in Boston MA.

The entire curriculum at Simmons was focused on understanding Users, their Information Seeking Behaviors, and best practices for the design of information repositories (both physical and digital), to enable a productive User Experience.

At the time, I also had an objective to develop practical knowledge that could be applied to a professional career. Accordingly, I focused on a curriculum that prepared me for the management of corporate "special" libraries. And also, I explored my question about language and thought, by completing a curriculum in Information Management, the design of Indexing language and Taxonomies, methods and theory of Classification, Systems Analysis, and Database Design.

In the decades since completing my MSc. Information Science degree, two trends have occurred:

1. Libraries in corporations and other "special" settings have often been reduced in size and staffing, or eliminated altogether.
2. The entire field of User Experience Design (UX) has developed; by now, it has significant maturity, methods, processes and procedures. A significant underpinning of UX is Information Architecture, which relies upon the Information Science domain that I studied while at Simmons.

Recently, I gave my knowledge of Information Architecture an updated "lens," by completing a 12-week User Experience Design Immersion program at General Assembly in San Francisco. The program provided me with UX knowledge and context, for the solid base in Information Architecture that I already have.

After returning from the UX program in San Francisco, I founded a boutique consulting firm, Information Design & Management Solutions, LLC, and became a lead consultant at Taxonomy Strategies, working directly with its founder, Joseph Busch.

Laurinda Alcorn