Reflection on Reflective Practice

So apparently I need a hobby….

I categorize myself as a very passionate person and the thing I am most passionate about is libraries. They have always been in my life through volunteering or studying and my entire professional career so far has been in either a public or academic library. 

In viewing the lecture on Reflective Practice there was some part (7:20) where the discussion of getting worn out came up. I have been thinking about this quite a bit and trying to figure out in this culture of “always being on brand” how can one quietly step away to recharge?

It is also hard for me to understand the need to step away to recharge when I feel like the work is what gets me charged. When libraries are the happy place, how does one wrestle with the idea of stepping away in order to provide your best self in all aspects of your life? The answer from the lecture was Balance…a word that my passionate self does not understand. 

So I know I need a hobby, and I am sure I will find one. But if I do what I always do when I have a question, my quest will take me back to the place where I have always found the answers…the library. 

But what if…on this zig-zag path called life it is time to turn. To gain a change in perspective. And in this change perhaps new knowledge will be found, new relationships formed, new connections created. And all this brought back to the library, but then spread immediately back out to my community as I continue to teach and connect. As Stacie Ledden (LOVE HER) said, “We find the best trends outside of Libraries”

So….what is out there? A hobby I hope. I need one. 

Reflection #5 Library as Creative Classroom

This is the Elements of the Creative Classroom Research Model, created by the European commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. I was really struck by this slide in the Library As Classroom lecture and had to pause to go do a bit more digging. I found the official Horizons 2014 report (graphic on page 4) which is a report that has been mentioned multiple times in this course for identifiying emerging trends in libraries and higher education. The 2014 report indicated that with each trend identified, the researchers used the Creative Classroom Research Model to identify the implications for policy, leadership and practice for each trend. 

What really sparked my interest though, was the article by Michael for the Library Journal that argued libraries ARE creative classrooms (https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=library-as-classroom-office-hours). This is more in line with what I was thinking when I saw this graphic. I thought this really was the essence of describing learning in a library setting but also, all of our coursework in this class fits into a segment of this Creative Classroom Model. Our course readings and discussion on participatory services and hyperlinked communities/environments have aligned with the Learning Practices and Teaching practices and a bit of the assessment (5-17). The conversation with Stacie Ledden and the job descriptions have been aligning with the Leadership and Values and Oganization (18-23). We looked at the hyperlinked model and the innovative Dokk1 library the first couple weeks meeting the Connectedness and Infrastructure section (24-28). And looking forward to new models, new horizens, mobile devices, and trends outside of libraries all aligned with the Content & Curricula section (1-4). 

I think libraries as a whole are really embracing the learning practices in this model with makerspaces, rennovated areas within libraries, and creating co munities of lifelong learners. But a lot of the libraries that we see as examples in our hyperlinked coursework that seem to be leading the way have really embraced the other half of the circle especially with the Leadership and Values, Organization, and Connectedness sections. These sections seem to be more fundamental and transformational change in the values of a library rather than the transitory programming where they may just “try out” a new model without committing too much. 

This is definitely something I want to dig in more….I may have print this out and start posting it around my desk at work so I can review it regularly and see how I can keep this in focus when strategic planning and creating new programs.

Reflection #4 – Anythink Groupie

Going through the course materials and listening to the Stacie Ledden interview over the past couple weeks has been really transformative. 

Before the interview, I was exploring their policies, strategic vision, and events to get a good feel of their mission and how they were working within their community. While I was exploring the website I found this page called Investing in Anythink’s Future….this is where I dove into the Anythink rabbit hole. 

We have talked in previous modules about the importance of transparency. The Anythink community is getting ready, as we speak, to vote on a ballot measure to increase funding for the Anythink libraries. The library put together this page that clearly outlines the ballot proposal, tax implications, the district needs and challenges, and their vision for the future. But they take it a step further and talk about how the library is funded, they provide historical context, projected growth, and comparable funding from surrounding communities. 

BUT THEY KEEP GOING. 

They expand on their current efficiencies, detail how they want to spend the money and where it will be invested. The amount of context, information, and transparency here is beyond anything I have seen for almost any government project in my own community. In the interview with Stacie, she mentioned that Colorado has a big libertarian population who requires extreme transparency. She stressed that you have to make your case and explicitly state where the money is going and how it will be spent so they can make an informed decision. I definitely think this model would be beneficial in my own community. 

While I was exploring this page, I stumbled upon a document call Catalyst for Innovation: The Anythink Visioning Sessions This was one of the most inspiring library visions I have read in a while. Flipping through the pages, I could truly get a sense of the community involvement to help design a 21st century library. Moving forward with this vision would be a library build for the people. This is definitely a model for listening to the community the library is serving. 

The more I learn about Anythink, the more I really love their transformative mission and approach to community centered librarianship. If you haven’t had a chance, I highly recommend watching the Stacie Ledden interview.

The Hyperlinked Library – Reflection 1

“Every link by a person with something to say is an act of generosity and selflessness, bidding our readers leave our page to see how the world looks to someone else.”

New Clues

How easy would it be to switch out the word “link” with the word “book”. Inherently, the quote above is describing what libraries have done for centuries: Inviting our patrons and all readers to see how the world looks from another perspective. 

Books have been the method of sharing perspectives for ages, and libraries have always facilitated access to books. But a quote from Redefining Library Services: a Manifesto, stopped me in my tracks.

“The purpose of and justification for libraries should not be confused with techniques and technologies adopted as MEANS for providing service.” 

Redefining Library Services: A Manifesto

Books have been the technique for sharing viewpoints for so long that library patrons, and perhaps the librarians themselves, have conflated books with the purpose and justification of the library’s existence. Librarians are now faced with redefining library services while also trying to shift away from the perception of the library as book warehouse. 

Enter here the Hyperlinked Library model. Reinsert “Link” back into the original quote but continue to think about libraries. While you might get stuck on the word link and think of it as just a little blue underlined word…we are invited to expand the definition of link to services that bring people together.

The example from the lecture that really brought this into focus for me was the storywalk example from Johnson County Library, right here in my home state. Their storywalk in a park brought together county departments to provide a new service that brought people together. The walk in a park was hyperlinked with a Pete the Cat story walk, providing an unexpected library service to reach users outside of the library space. THIS to me, is a hyperlinked library.

“I know it surprised people,” he said. “Stumbling upon a reading component in an unexpected setting – especially one that is as well-loved as the Antioch Park playground – helps people blend the idea of active play with reading readiness. There may have been park visitors who were inspired to visit the library because of Storywalk. I know there were library visitors who went to the park when they found out a new Storywalk was posted. Additionally, I’m hopeful the adults who accompanied children around Storywalk picked up a few simple tips & tricks for making the most of the time they spend reading with their child.” 

https://www.jcprd.com/Blog.aspx?IID=61

Links are not just little blue underlined words, but they are services, they are collaboration, they are people. The end this post, I would like to you read the following quote. Instead of “web”, insert “Library” and just give yourself a minute to let the idea sink in. 

“But the Web is about links that constantly reach out, connecting us without end. For lives and ideas, completion is death. Choose life.”

New Clues

Choose libraries.