Reflecting on the semester

May 13, 2017

As I look back on this semester, I realize how much I have learned and how far I still need to go.  In my first post, I admitted that I am not all that into technology, but that I really wanted to learn and stretch myself.  I can definitely say that I have learned and stretched, but I am not satisfied.  I realize now that I need to get out of my comfort zone even more than I have over the past few years.  I need to stop being afraid of new technology and rolling my eyes at all the people (like my brother-in-law) who always want to have the latest technology as soon as it rolls out.  Technology is the wave of the future, not only mine but every one of our patrons, whether I like it or not.  I love that during the course of this class we were told to explore, play with, and become more comfortable with technology.  It is essential for us as librarians to be in the know and comfortable with new technology so that we are willing and able to teach and help our patrons.  It is also imperative for libraries to continue to provide access to technology in order to help bridge the digital divide which still exists today.  Michael Stephens writes a great article called “Always Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”  In it, he discusses why we need to disengage ourselves from using the expression “we’ve always done it this way.”  This way of thinking hinders growth and new possibilities.  It keeps people from trying out new concepts, new technology, and new ways of doing things.  Being a librarian today is about being creative, exploring new things, and thinking outside the box.  If we rely on “always” doing things the same way we are hurting out patrons and our community.

Jessamyn West talks about knowing our communities and being relevant to them.  This truly resonates with me because our community’s needs should be first and foremost in our minds.  If they need access to the newest technology, we should be doing our best to provide access.  However, if they still just need basic access to technology such as tablets, the internet, and basic digital devices we need to make sure that this area of service is solid for them before embarking on the newest and coolest devices.  Additionally, before jumping into purchasing new technology we need to make sure that there is a solid reason for providing access.  We should be asking what our community could learn from the device, how will it challenge them or enhance their skills, and whether the community is even interested in the device.  Additionally, though, Michael Stephens reminds us that we need to remember to be human.  Even though there is technology there for people to use, such as self-checkout, librarians should be visible at all times and ready to engage in conversation with the patrons.  This human touch is what will keep people coming back to our library.  The idea that someone in the library cares enough to help us, to listen to us, to recommend something to us will always be relevant and essential.

There is much to learn.  Technology is constantly changing.  In order to keep up, I definitely need to be doing more exploring, playing, and even messing up (and learning from my mistakes!)

 

West, J. (n.d.)  21st Century digital divide.  Retrieved from www.librarian.net

Images from www.badassjs.com and www.usatoday30.usatoday.com

Stephens, M. (2014).  Always doesn’t live here anymore/ Office Hours.  Retrieved from:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com

Stephens, M. (2014).  Reflective Practice/ Office Hours.  Retrieved from:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com

 

One Response to “Reflecting on the semester”

  1. Profile photo of Jennette C Jennette C said

    Hi Gina,
    Great post! I definitely love the idea of being allowed to “mess up”, that’s how we learn! I also appreciated that you included the concept of “the human touch” which is so important in a library, especially because of the diversity of patrons, everyone is treated with compassion, respect, and empathy.

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