In 2017 I started taking pottery classes because I knew I needed to do something completely new to me where I was guaranteed to fail repeatedly. I was terrified of trying new things because I thought I would be “bad” at them and this fear was really holding me back in every aspect of my life. I was bad at pottery. Three years later I’ve learned so much, tried new things (with clay and without), and I’m still failing regularly. More than anything else, pottery has constantly challenged me to be more adaptable and problem-solve creatively.
Here’s a video of some pottery mishaps from the past three months.
This module—the Can You Teach Creativity? video specifically—reminded me that there was a time before I knew how to work with clay. When I only considered myself a “student” or “athlete” and thought I that’s all I was. And there will be a time, maybe three years from now, where I’m again reminded of all the new things I learned because I followed my curiosity.
This article by Jane Cowell suggests ways to implement creativity into everyday library practice. The first thing listed is time set aside “for learning, play, investigation, fun, with the eventual outcome being innovation, maybe a pilot and new skills” (2017). I wholeheartedly agree. Creativity helps me maintain the balance talked about in the Reflective Practice lecture and approach my work in libraries through a more innovative lens.
Three years ago I didn’t know that I wanted to work in libraries. I have learned so much during this course, from peers in this class and others, from my coworkers at the library, from #librarytwitter. I can’t wait to find out what I’m going to learn in the next three years.
ArtsandArch. (2012, August 26). Can You Teach Creativity? – Chris Staley, Penn State Laureate 2012-2013 [YouTube].
Cowell, J. (2017). A Challenge to Library Managers: Embed Creativity in Your library.
Stephens, M. (2020). Reflective practice [Lecture].