Thing 22: Reflective Practice on Things 19-21 - Engaged Professional

Time for the final reflection on the last three Things under this heading of Engaged Professional. Thing 19 introduced me to podcasts, learning by listening instead of reading. Many journals and organisations are now offering podcasts to appeal to a different audience or widen their choice of learning opportunities. In medicine, there is the BMJ Talk Medicine series and in our own organisation, we recently launched a series of podcasts, GP Works. I think podcasts are a useful learning tool as an alternative to reading and one I will be looking out for in the future. I will certainly be following and listening out for future Librarians Aloud podcasts.

Thing 20 was all about Advocacy and Engagement. For me, this has always featured throughout my career and as a profession I do feel we are constantly undervalued and the need to consistently prove our worth is of paramount importance. Unfortunately when recession hits libraries are one of the first to be hit as our service is not seen as essential. We all need to promote our skills and ensure that our worth within the organisation is at the forefront. Without support from the top-down this will be an uphill battle and one that we are most likely to lose. I would like to think in this information-age that the value of librarians is evident but I think with the growth of online, free information we are most likely seen as a dying breed and redundant. Therefore, advocacy and engagement are two essential skills we all need.

Finally Thing 21 looked at professional groups. As a profession, I feel it is important to have and belong to an organisation like the Library Association of Ireland, a professional body representing libraries and librarianship in Ireland. The objectives of the association are to promote and develop high standards of librarianship and of library and information services in Ireland, and to secure greater co-operation between libraries. I feel that more could be done to promote librarianship within Ireland. I think it is hard to fight against the stereotypes that exist and the fact that there are so many different libraries can work against us.

The last modules have made me think about my profession and I do realise that I do need to do more and get involved myself. Overall, it is up to all of us to engage and promote our profession and be proud to be a librarian.


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