I’m afraid to say I’ve been putting this ‘Thing’ off for a little while. I also took some time off last week and went back home to beautiful Bath so I haven’t had my library hat on as much recently.
I’m very new to this concept of reflection as it’s not something I’ve come across in previous jobs and have only just started to hear the term bandied about at different training/professional development events. My first impression was that it seems pretty integral to getting chartered which caused me to dismiss it, as chartership is a long way off for me. But the more I read around the subject, the more I realised that reflective practice was something I could and should be getting in the habit of doing now.
Throughout my traineeship I’ve been fortunate enough to be encouraged to go to external training events. For the first couple I took a notebook and made the most meticulous notes for every talk…and didn’t do anything with them afterwards. I definitely wasn’t getting the most out of these events. I was simply writing down what was being said at the time, which gave me no time to think about how what was being said was relevant to me.
In December I attended the ARLIS workshop “An Introduction to Art & Design Reference Resources” and volunteered to write up the event for the ARLIS newssheet and Students & Trainees blog. This was my first venture into doing anything of the sort and I agonized over the write-up for the week after the event. Although I was trying to give an objective overview of the day, going back over my notes and putting them into a readable piece made me think about what I was getting out of events like that.
Since then I’ve been trying to blog about conferences, workshops and visits I’ve been going to, first on the London Research Libraries Trainee blog and now here. I’ve found it much more useful to have my own blog rather than contributing to others because I feel more justified in talking about MY experiences.
At the moment I feel like my reflective practice is very much casual. Like everything I’m doing at the moment, I’m getting to grips with the idea and hopefully it’ll come with time. Yes ok, my model for reflective practice is more like this…:
…than any of these…:
…but I feel like this ‘Thing’ has really made me think about how I can make the most out of every experience I have. Pretty soon I’ll be having to look back on my graduate trainee year and by recalling and evaluating (what I’ve learnt, enjoyed, was good at, was bad at), I can look forward and plan my future accordingly.