The activity I chose to engage in was a digital resource, a discussion forum thread on the topic of school library blogs. Before I could see other posts, I had to create my post. I chose to describe, in a paragraph, a blog that focused on children’s literature called 100 Scope Notes. 100 Scope Notes is one of the many blogs compiled on the School Library Journal website. It is updated by Travis Jonker irregularly.
Having participated in this discussion, I received several blog suggestions to follow. The most mentioned blog was the Mischievous Librarian blog run by a teacher-librarian from British Columbia, Canada called Emily Huang. People enjoyed her discussion of the process of introducing the Learning Commons Model and moving away from Dewey Decimal system for genrefication in her school library. I also became aware of a source that ranks the best blogs for school librarians, Edublogs.
Blogs, in general, help to reveal gaps in my knowledge because information professionals are describing their successes and failures in implementing new classification systems, being creative with programming to engage various age groups, and suggesting new resources that are beneficial to the collection or resources to avoid. Before COVID, face-to-face professional development is the most common method (Moreillon, 2016, p. 64). With COVID, professional development is more accessible through virtual platforms. For example, I have been able to attend conferences hosted by the School Library Journal and the American Library Association. If this year were the same as previous years, I might not have had the opportunity to attend these sessions as travel is quite expensive.
By having blogs as an option for professional development, it allows others and myself the opportunity to engage in new learning asynchronously. Blogs can also discuss “many job duties that librarians and library staff engage in [that] are not extensively discussed in library school” (Horton, 2019, p. 868). At the same time, there are a lot of blog options. However, taking the time to find blogs that appeal my learning preferences and engage me in multiple modalities will allow me to “take responsibility for [my] own learning” (Moreillon, 2016, p. 64) while keeping me up to date with the library community and reinforcing my learning. I would apply this to my future career and continue to engage in professional development with discussion forums and blogs to aid me in creating programs and services for working with children and young adults instead of having to wait for professional development budget to become available (Pratchett et al, 2016, p. 29). Also, taking initiative to learn new things will help to make sure that I am not restricting access to services because I do not know how to use it.
Horton, J. (2019). Continuing education and professional development of library staff involved with makerspaces. Library Hi Tech, 37(4), 866-882.
Huang, E. (2020). Genre-fying: Part 2. The Mischievous Librarian. http://www.mischievouslibrarian.com/blog/genre-fying-part-2
Jonker, T. (n.d.). 100 scope notes: Children’s literature news and reviews. School Library Journal. https://100scopenotes.com/
Moreillon, J. (2016). Building your personal learning network (PLN): 21st-century school librarians seek self-regulated professional development online. Knowledge Quest, 44(3), 64-69.
Pratchett, T., Young, G., Brooks, C., Jeskins, L., & Monagle, H. (2016). Practical tips for developing your staff. Facet Publishing.