Monday, April 16, 2018

Thing 22: Reflective Practice

Your task for Thing 22: to write a reflective blog post.

I completed tasks for Things 19, 20 and 21 and wrote separate blog posts for each Thing. 
I will use Terry Borton's reflective model (1970), as adapted by Gary Rolfe and colleagues (2001): What? So What? What Next?, as the framework for this Reflective Practice.

Thing 19: Podcasts:
I have almost weekly experience of using one podcast (On Being). I enjoy it. It exposes me to new people, thinkers, thoughts and ways of thinking and viewing things. However I would be more of a podcast consumer and sharer than a creator. Due to the limitations of my technology (my old iPhone) and my limited tech skills and interest in broadcasting my views, I'm unlikely to become a podcaster. I realise this technology could also be used to podcast about library activities and services, but I feel that the time I would spend in learning that skill would be more effectively put towards communicating my library message in other media I'm more capable in (e.g. facebook posts using Canva infographics). I know this is not as multidimensional, only being visual and not aural or personal, but I'm not a multimedia person (yet). I have noticed I'm more aware of podcasts since I did this thing, e.g. an introduction to a short story 'The Swimmer' by John Cheever, in an anthology, the editor referred to a podcast from The New Yorker with Richard Ford discussing the short story 'Reunion' by John Cheever, which added to my enjoyment and understanding of the author. Before doing Rudaí23, I might have ignored that reference. Now I'm glad I didn't. The three free New Yorker podcasts per month might reveal more reading-based material to share with our library facebook followers.

Thing 20: Advocacy
This Thing helped me to 'see the bigger picture' a bit better. I confess it is a picture I do not gaze on sufficiently. I tend to be a more micro-focused person than macro-oriented. I have had negative feedback in the past that "so-and-so sees the bigger picture" (the subtext being that I don't). However I felt like pleading, "well show me the bigger picture!", but I know that's a bit pathetic, like asking for the Book of Revelations. However the national and international advocacy examples given by LAI, CILIP and ALA in this Thing helped me to see the bigger picture. I blush to say that although I am very familiar with the strategies referred to in this Thing and in my task on this Thing (Opportunities for All, Right to Read, Work Matters etc.), I read them more as interview preparation documents or buzzword checklists than actual blueprints for a working library plans. How cynical does that sound! (Though honestly there is a lot of bumph in them too!) Somehow this Thing helped me to view them differently, particularly when I had to consider them from my own personal work perspective, applying them in the task for this thing. Doing that task helped me put that bigger picture into my small local frame, or vice versa helped me put my small, local frame within the perspective of that bigger picture. I found the ALA Frontline Advocacy Plan particularly useful and practical and I will use that myself and give it to my staff to use on future projects. 

Thing 21: Professional Groups/Organisations
This Thing helped me to see not only the value of national and international professional groups like the LAI and ALA to me professionally, but also to the library profession as a whole, in Ireland, US and throughout the world. The Online Networker section of this Rudaí23 pricked my conscience into posting my LAI membership form. This Thing showed me not only the benefits of membership for me, the "what's in it for me", but more importantly what's in it for libraries, and library users and society. I'm reminded of JFK's quote "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." The professional and societal benefits of contributing to the work of professional groups in raising the profile of the profession, and contributing towards service development and innovation are obvious. The benefits of CPD such as this Rudaí23 is also obvious, in that it has made me think about all these things. The ALA's CPLA Chartered Public Library Administrator Program is something I should and will definitely consider for my future CPD, and would love to see an Irish version available in future, especially when I consider the half-life of my MLIS means it is now obsolete! The way forward is life long micro-learning in professional groups.


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