Do you see what I see? CPD23 Reflective Practice

Visiting "The Bean" prior to a long day at ALA 2009

Like many of my fellow cpd23 participants, the opportunity for reflection is what drew me to the program. I get so caught up in the details of my day-to-day life that I don’t always take time to look at the bigger picture. This program makes reflection a little less intimidating by offering a reasonable balance of structure and flexibility.

Thus far, I have taken the plunge to start this blog, interacted with other participants via their blogs and mine, considered my personal brand, and mused about my efforts at current awareness. Not too shabby for three weeks!

I have already learned quite a bit from the first four things. Some of of my learning has been practical, in that I am more familiar with using WordPress. I also have a better idea of what I should be doing to maintain a consistent online identity. But perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned over the last few weeks is that I should not be afraid to contribute to the profession in whatever way I can. I think a part of me has always assumed that other people have either already said what ought to be said, or will say it more eloquently to larger audience than I can. I did not want to add to the redundancy and clutter. However, as I mentioned in my introductory post, I am coming around to the idea that my voice belongs in this chorus just as much as anyone’s. Figuratively, anyway. Nobody actually needs to hear me sing. I have received many more responses to my blog posts than I had ever anticipated, so thanks to all of the commenters who have brightened up these pages! It helps to know that others can identify with what I have to say.

I have also learned that setting goals in my blog posts helps me stay focused on my own development. While I cannot honestly say that I have written “one comment a day” as my Thing 2 post suggested, I hope my increased effort averages out fairly well. Some days, I guiltily ignore my RSS feeds, while other days I post several comments. Right now, it’s most comfortable to comment on other cpd23 blogs, but I hope to join more conversations around the blogosphere as I work to get my RSS feeds under control. In response to Thing 4, I finally pulled the plug on a few of the more prolific feeds I subscribed to. I already feel lighter, and so far, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I’m not finished fine-tuning my Google Reader experience, and I hope to pick up more hints from the rest of you!

I have not applied much of what I have learned so far in my workplace, as I primarily use my own time to focus on professional development and current awareness. Although my employer may be supportive, there are simply not enough hours in the work day to fulfill my various responsibilities and actively participate in the library community. For now, I’m happy to have this as a side project. Unfortunately, because it’s a side project, I have not been able to devote time to create non-cpd23-related posts. If I am going to continue this blog after October, I will need to start thinking of my own content!

All of the things I have explored this far will be useful in my search for the next step in my librarian journey. The tools themselves are valuable for sharing ideas, consuming information, and connecting with other librarians virtually and in real life. Reflecting on each tool allows me to realize what I’m really using it for and how it can help me. Putting my experiences and opinions into words solidifies them in my mind, giving me more confidence to jump into conversations. I have a feeling this blend of tools, networking, and reflection will bring valuable opportunities to this Odd Librarian Out.


3 Comments on “Do you see what I see? CPD23 Reflective Practice”

  1. Erin says:

    Hello Nicole,

    I have every confidence that you will find something to blog about after the project is complete. I look forward to reading your posts!

  2. I can definitely identify with the feeling that others have already said it or will say it more eloquently. But, like you, I’m coming to realize that those others didn’t become eloquent by only sitting back and listening — they had to jump into the conversation at some point, probably before they were entirely confident too! And, while I’m working on joining in the conversation more, I’ll also sit out on the karaoke — nobody needs to hear me sing either!

  3. Kristi C. says:

    I agree that finding your voice isn’t always easy. Sometimes it is going to seem repetitive, but remember that no matter what your experience is unique! There is always something to say about something (as Twitter has shown us quite well), and knowing when to contribute and when not to is part of reflective experience.

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