CPD23 Hiatus: MLS journey

Well, I am back on the MLS Bandwagon, while admitting that I have abandoned CPD23 Thing Challenge. I am prideful to the notion that I finish most things that I have started.  The thorn in my side lately has been that I haven’t finished my MLS degree. While on CPD23 Hiatus, I have been working hard to position myself to finish my MLS program.  Now readers before your eye pop out your sockets- let me share with you, my MLS school journey.

Remember that feeling of not knowing what you wanted to be growing up? Well for me—I always knew I wanted to help others, but never knew to what capacity. During my last semester in undergrad, while writing a research paper and completing an independent study bibliographic guide, I discovered a love for finding information. It took me a couple of years in the social services field to realize that my time could be better spent educating clients about nutrition, wellness, healthy lifestyle management through finding resources. My intellectual curiosity for searching for information led me to an information session on library schools. It was during that time that I ‘bought’ into the idea of becoming an ‘Information Ninja’. [Wait, don’t cue the symphonic harmonies yet]. I had no idea that that the next two years of my life would play out as one faculty member suggested. In my first MLS lecture, the professor said something that now reasonates with me, ‘In the undergraduate years, YOU get in the way. During graduate school, LIFE GETS IN THE WAY.’ Nothing could be farthest from the truth. Half way through my program, I encountered some health challenges that prevented me from achieving my MLS within a two year period. Despite this minor setback, I am ready again to resume the challenge of tackling the MLS program.

Even though I do not have the credentials, I won’t let that discourage my focus. So my advice for people who may feel unmotivated, hopeless, or defeated; please know that you are not alone. NEVER give up on your dreams. I leave you with a couple of references regarding professional development.

Reflections on Mentoring–  By Tixylix

Professional Advice– By Academic Librarian

Charting My Professional Journey  By Joeyanne Libraryanne

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Thing 5: Reflective Practice

Peter F. Drucker
Words of encouragement help me to stay focused on my work as an information professional. A good story or a small sketch are also great talking points to use for starting the reflective practice process. The topic for CPD23 Thing 5 this week is to discuss REFLECTIVE PRACTICE.
 
Thing 5 Reflective Practice is very important not just for the CPD23 Thing Challenge, but also for life long career development. Using the resource guide for this week, I will identify an event/project and apply the RECALL it, EVALUATE it, and APPLY it methodology.
 
Event– For 2011, I wanted to improve my skills as a information professional by completing several goals which I wrote in an earlier post here. 1) write a book review; 2) establish an online presence  are the two goals I want to showcase in my reflective practice.
 
Evaluation: I found that the hardest part in the reflective practice process is finding time to devote to it. Write a book review- this was both a wonderful and scary opportunity. I responded to a book review request from the editor and wrote the book review on Hack Library School. This was a helpful book for aspiring MLS graduates who interested/want to go into academic librarianship. The learning point that surprised me the most while reading this book is that I am learning to appreciate assessment. My definition of finding value in assessment is that I am learning to seek out material related to libraries/technology that gives me a more quantitative edge. I am all about the ‘warm and fuzzies’, but when administrators are pressured to cut programs– assessment, statistics, Excel spreedsheets are things that excite me because then I am able to search for values in programs. As library/information professionals, advocacy should be on our agendas to ensure that funding is available for our communities.
 
Application: Secondly, my participation in the CPD23 Thing is my way of reviving my online/blog presence. It is so exciting to read other participants who are at different levels in their careers. Many of my professional mentorships/peer groups are virtual and I am very appreciative of all the support that I have received. I have had the opportunity to meet several people whom I first met via online. Skype, Facebook, Blogs, and Linkedin are excellent platforms of communication. The benefits of a MLS degree as well as taking on the CPD23 challenge– will yield a positive outcome in my opinion. I may not use Twitter or Pullnote daily, but having an awareness of how it works is important. I use Twitter for genealogy purposes to stay informed about research tools and methodology. I will continue to use reflective practice exercise as a continue in my profession. This a very helpful process to chart my professional progress as well as serve as a guide for any future research projects.