Class #1: Reflections

An overview: Introduction to the course, why teaching matters in libraries, best practices in learning, learning versus teaching, librarianship, interviews

I am very excited for this class and appreciate how focused it seems to be on practical application of the concepts and practice in the best-practices.  I know from my previous experience that this is far better than being able to say what book an answer is in (or something to that affect).  I am excited to learn how to approach teaching in a library with the mind-set of patron learning.  As in the readings, much of the ideas presented in lecture are the same ideas that permeated my undergraduate classes in early childhood education.  I made every attempt to teach in a way that worked for student-learning and not “I taught it so they better know it” but there is always room to grow and learn and approach the same topic in a different way next time to make it easier and more successful for the learner.

This also reminded me of a thought I had last semester – I am curious if librarians are made better by taking pedagogy and child development classes as well as classes like collection development or professional practices etc.  Although I made the personal choice to not pursue life as a school librarian but instead focus more on public librarianship, I wonder if my experiences and learning in pedagogy and child development will transfer to this new profession.  I believe it will impact how I approach my teaching responsibilities in the library – but I wonder if I will be able to keep the mindset when doing other activities – such as program planning etc.

I also wonder if librarianship should begin to include classes on pedagogy and child development.  Since so many of our predecessors state that the library IS a place for education and that librarians ARE educators, perhaps it’s time library schools prepare librarians for this idea on a more fundamental level rather than just saying it.

During class I could not decide whether or not I was a fixed or flexible mindset learner.  (Read more about those ideas here.)  I feel as though I was definitely raised to think that I was smart and could do anything I wanted but I also started playing violin at a very young age.  The nature of learning to play an instrument is very fluid and very focused on learning parts separately and together and without music and with music (not to mention needing to learn how to read music).  From that experience alone I think it feels very natural for me to say you can learn anything you can take in things now and revisit it later and take in more information.

Looking forward to next week!

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4 responses to “Class #1: Reflections

  1. Hey Rebecca!
    You wondered whether or not librarians should be required to take courses in pedagogy and child psychology – as an SLM specialization, I am taking an ED class in education psych. If you want, I can let you know how it was and if it sounds good, maybe you could take it in an upcoming semester. Though, I don’t know what you’re undergrad work is in, maybe you’ve taken plenty!

    • The wonder is probably more from “I think they should but would people still enter the profession with those types of classes as requirements”. I would love to hear what your Ed Psych class is like – I can’t even count how many I had in undergrad but it’s always a good idea to learn of new developments and updated ways of thinking!

  2. I’ve been wondering the same thing as you, lately – whether or not librarians should be required to take pedagogy classes. Last summer, as an incoming student, I was exploring the course catalog, read over the description for SI 643 and thought it was completely irrelevant to me. I later had multiple SI grads tell me that I HAD to take this course without my even bringing it up! A semester of working at a reference desk has definitely shown me how important it is to think about the ways people learn when working in a library, and the first class has just reinforced that. I don’t know if I necessarily want to end up in an instructional position after I graduate, but I know that thinking about these issues and the skills I learn in the class will be beneficial to me when I interact with patrons.

  3. I’m thinking that the background in education will definitely be helpful in planning out your programming. From my perspective, if you are designing a program, and you put an emphasis on the patrons or students actively doing during all of your programs, that would absolutely change how you went about things.
    I don’t actually know that it would be better, to focus on having an Experiential Education bent to all of your library programs. Ever been to a conference and sit down in a room thinking you were going to hear an expert talk about a subject…and then they break you into small groups and you feel cheated?

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