Thing 6: Reflective Practice

library imageone week into my Rudai23 course and already the signs of addiction are apparent; compulsive social network checking; shameless glazing over of the eyeballs when partner steers conversation in any other direction and of course an awareness that all I can think about is my next fix- what adventures will the next task bring?

A few of the tasks so far have probably been a little easier for me than for those of us who haven’t utilised the platforms we’ve been introduced to before. It’s been great to readdress things or explore different features which have helped add further dimensions to applications which, already of great use, now seem even better than ever (yes twitter, I’m talking about you with your cheeky little lists).

Reading other people’s blogs, I’ve enjoyed the different stories people have to tell and despite massive variations, my eagle-librarian-eyes have observed some glaring congruities amongst each of the unique experiences:

  1. Many librarians seem to be straddling this polarising rift where on one side they must prove their worth in an age of spending cuts and austerity but on the other (and this is the side of the valley that our window looks out into) they are actually more relevant than ever. If a librarian is a disseminator and distributor of information – doesn’t it make sense that the more information is available, the greater the need for their services?
  2. Librarians are a resourceful, creative, helpful, passionate bunch of people.
  3. The role of a librarian is evolving at a cataclysmic rate BUT we’re cool with that. We’ve looked down the barrel of the gun, gulped a little nervously, then smiled confidently knowing that, though the future isn’t quite crystal clear, we can keep up with the pace of change and adapt.

As a young un’ who isn’t yet qualified, it’s quite scary jumping into a career which I love and find rewarding but which seems to require constant justification to people. I’ve enjoyed the parts of people blogs where they discuss outsider’s opinions of exactly what a librarian does. I read a CILIP endorsed blog a couple of months ago (shamefully I can’t seem to find it again so can’t give due credit) but the advice was to think carefully about how we explain our job to other non-librarians. It’s beneficial to have a good two to three sentence summary about what we do up our sleeves because who wants to sell themselves short? I’ve found this very useful advice as I find people don’t quite know how to react when I explain that I’m a law librarian.

My job title is “Information assistant” and not too many people outside of the profession would really know what that means. When I mention the word librarian I’ve had a mixed bag of comments ranging from “Oh wow – didn’t you used to be really clever in school… what happened?” to “Haha. No really – what do you do?”. I’ve felt quite angered in the past at reactions like this but when I evaluate it on a deeper level, it’s just an overall ignorance about what is involved in my work. I’ve let my emotions get the better of me in the past but now I’m always ready with a scenario appropriate response to shut them right up. At a party some one responded sort of negatively then luckily snidely asked “So what exactly do you do then?” and I told them about the ocean vessels I have to monitor to track piracy and fraud and legal research for big cases involving corporations which are “carry more weight than the royal family” (their words, not mine after I’d talked them round) *grins from ear to ear at small yet significant defeat*.

We all know that part of librarianship is the advocacy that comes with it – which is why I’m really enjoying Rudai23. It’s great to see what others’ experiences are and being entertained by all of the blogs.

(Image from SOURCE:

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