Once again, we’re looking at 23things and I’m up to Thing 5, reflective practice.

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

The main reason behind starting this particular blog is for me to get to grips a bit with reflective practice. In the next year of my Masters I expect a lot of it to be about understanding my own progress and where I want to go, refining my ‘professional self’ and that sort of thing. And so, because I am ridiculously dorky I decided to make a headstart here as I figured it could only be beneficial. The ever-changing nature of libraries and the information world seems to call for an enormous amount of reflective practice – knowing when to change and adapt, understanding where your limitations may be in certain areas and seeking to develop them – these appear to be essential. Since working in libraries it has become very clear that continual development is an essential aspect of remaining in step and, ultimately, effective at the job. I am in an absurdly fortunate position at the moment as I have no enormous demands on my time – my workplace is wonderfully understanding and encouraging about the studying I am doing, they’re keen to give me new opportunities to develop and it’s all really rather ideal! This means I really need to take as much from this time as I can as it’s unlikely to last longer than a couple more years – so here is the perfect space for it!

I recently completed covering the maternity leave of the Higher Education Librarian within my workplace; the returning Librarian has dropped some hours and consequently some are available to apply for. I have, of course, registered enormously excited interest. There are likely to be other internal applicants though, which I means I need to prepare myself for really rather tough competition! This is really the ideal time to reflect on how I did over the past year. As it was my first professional post and the first year of studying my Masters, to say I felt slightly unprepared is a bit of an understatement! I think I managed to do quite a few things successfully though.

We deliver eResource sessions to students and I think these went rather well generally – there was only one truly disastrous session and I learned a great deal from that. I think presenting a friendly and approachable manner is the most important things in these sessions rather than covering everything imaginable – I took the approach that the purpose of the sessions was to make them feel as at ease with the library as possible rather than educating them on how to use everything the library has to offer.  I have a new item to add to those two things in future however! It turns out that 70% of our Higher Education Arts students have dyslexia. Obviously this is quite a dramatic number! So in future I would certainly include far more on the tools we have which may be of benefit to those students who are dyslexic. Whilst I have brushed upon some of them, it’s clearly something which will be useful to most of the students and worth spending more time on. Unfortunately we generally see the students for one hour at the beginning of term to familiarise them with all the library has to offer – an impossible task! Time really is very valuable in these sessions, but clearly this is something which should be made more of a priority.

There are a hundred and one examples I can think of which would improve my practice, it’s overwhelming really! But mostly I think I need to stay responsive and aware of issues – I’m hoping that by detailing events here I’m more likely to notice and action solutions where needed. If I get an interview for this post though there may be a flurry of rambling attempts to organise my thoughts about why I should get this position instead of someone more experienced. If by some stroke of luck and wonder I manage to get this job, I shall be detailing my highs and lows on here from September. That’s when the second year of my course kicks off too; I suspect I will be feeling far too busy to keep track of everything I’ll want to do, so what better space than this?

Also! I am still in the throes of establishing this as *mine* – next week I am getting the rather amazing gift of a macbook for my birthday so I shall have much more time for such tweaking then.