Tabula Rasa–Thing 3

My Google results don’t reveal much at all. First page results show that I  have a Facebook and Twitter account, but those posts are protected so nothing personal is disclosed. A few more pages into the search results and I find links to book reviews that I wrote around 2005-2006 for More Books For Women. I love that those are still coming up and available, but they’re not really connected to my current career goals.

So, what did I learn? Mostly just that I have virtually no professional librarian presence on the web. While that certainly has some negative implications, it’s also nice starting my brand with a blank slate. I’m not sure what I want my brand to be. I’m fine mixing personal interests with professional goals, but I’m still working out what that will look like. I’m interested in teaching and information literacy, but I’m also a huge sci fi fan and reader. I think that both sets of interests play out in my professional life, but do those things connect? Do they have to?

I’m going to take the brand building slowly. I like having this blog as a place for reflection, although I don’t know that I can see it as part of my brand. As I move forward with the 23 Things program, I’d also like to focus on some physical world opportunities and see how those translate to an online presence.

 

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Stop Talking, Start Doing

This morning I followed an LISnews link to The Adventures of Library Girl’s post Five Conversations [About Libraries] I Don’t Want to Have Anymore. When I first saw the 5 conversations listed on LISnews, I was a little like “wha?!? but! but! these are still issues that haven’t been resolved yet…” But reading Library Girl’s post was illuminating, and her explanations for why these conversations have run into a dead end (for her) were smart and spot on.

I absolutely recommend the entire post, but I especially identified with her points about “21st Century Skills”:

It seems like I can’t be involved with any educational conversation these days without being hit with the importance of 21st Century Skills. That’s fine, but I’m ready to talk more specifically about what these skills really are…

Let’s move beyond the label and on to identifying, prioritizing and teaching the skills that will best prepare our students for life in this century and beyond.

Agreed! I regularly work with students who are under-prepared for college, in terms of subject-based knowledge, practical study skills, and computer skills. As a part-time adjunct, I don’t really get to influence curriculum at my community college, but I keep trying to work out the role the library plays in addressing these issues. There obviously needs to be collaboration within the academic departments of the institution, but I also see the struggles of these students as symptomatic of problems within the educational system from K-12. While people way smarter than me figure out what to do about our “educational crisis”, I’d like to focus on how I can “identify, prioritize, and teach” the information skills students need to succeed both in their classes and in their day-to-day lives.

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First Impressions: Thing 2

Although I’m a little late in the write up, I spent a lot of last week looking at different blogs involved in cpd23. I’ve only subscribed to a few, but look forward to upping that number considerably as the weeks go on. As others have confessed, I’m a lurker, rarely do I join in on conversations online. I’m determined to change that habit through the course of the coming weeks, and feel pretty good about my start. I also have to admit that I felt relieved reading so many posts that also confessed to procrastination.

I’m going to be following these librarians, and maybe you should too!

I’d love to get recommendations for other blogs you think I should follow. Leave me suggestions in the comments.

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Getting Started: Week 1, Thing 1

 I’m a procrastinator, but since this character flaw goes back years, I’ve learned to successfully (more or less) trick my brain into staying on task/making stuff happen/getting things done. I graduated with my MLIS not even two years ago, so I’m well versed in the role blogging has in professional development, both as a reflective space and networking tool. I read dozens of librarian blogs, and they inform my view of the current state of the profession, as well as provide ideas and inspiration for my teaching and reference work.

So, why haven’t I started my own? See confession above. Lame excuse? Absolutely! But that’s precisely why I decided to join this program. The beauty of  23 Things is that it’s self-directed enough that I feel free to write about the particular aspects of librarianship I’m interested in (information literacy and teaching, primarily), but the pressure of weekly deadlines to keep me on task. I also think it’s brilliant that hundreds of librarians around the world will simultaneously be reflecting on our profession, and writing about how that plays out in our day-to-day work lives. I think we’re going to have some great conversations.

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