For this blogging assessment, I already had a blog. So, I revamped my blog to have a heading called ‘Professional Development’, more readable font, and include a ‘Something About Me’ section. I chose my activities early. However, as the semester progressed, I realized that it is quite difficult to do both the illustration and writing for a picture book. Hence, I changed that activity about halfway through the semester. The four activities I participated in were reviewing an electronic resource, attending a conference, writing a book review, and engaging in a discussion forum thread.
For me, the most meaningful aspect of this experience was being able to combine learning from the activities with my prior knowledge and theoretical knowledge from the course. By having to find scholarly literature to support my reflection, it led me to ask myself more questions. For example, with the censorship activity, I thought about how I would usually react to a parent asking me to restrict access to the collection in a library. Then, I thought about the development needs of children and young adults mentioned in module one and the definition of censorship in module six. After combining these thoughts with the activity, I felt that I would be better prepared to provide an informed response to parents. Instead of only encouraging parents to engage with the library more, I would encourage them to communicate with their children and young adult more about their choices. I also thought about inviting parents for a teatime type of activity where children would have a dedicated time to discuss what they were reading.
From reading blogs written by my classmates, it was cool to see the variety of activities that were chosen. Having read two other posts on censorship after I wrote my own, I enriched my knowledge and was reminded that censorship not only happens on the individual level. This encourages me, in my professional practice, to remember that there are multiple levels at which to think about why gaps in the collection exist.
From reading comments, I was reminded of the value of partnering and communicating with others. The commenters also brought their work experience and their perspective to encourage the blog author and myself to think deeper. I also received text recommendations like The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle and Talkin’ up to the white woman: Indigenous Woman and Feminism by Aileen Moreton-Robinson.
While this course mainly focused on library services for children and young adults, it encouraged me to think about the intersectionalities in social identities that influence the way a person might engage with a resource or service. Having experienced this course, I changed my thought process to think more intentionally about inclusion and the needs of various community groups. For example, I originally chose a cursive font for the title and headings on my blog. As I continued to work through the modules, I thought about how a cursive font could be a barrier to children, young adults, and other community groups that could potentially try to read a book review on my blog. Therefore, in the future, I aim to think more about why something is created in a certain way and keep myself informed about trends in the library and information sector.