This is the last week of the Hyperlinked Libraries MOOC and I am so thankful for that experience. I hope to write a post for this blog on my experience in the upcoming weeks. The work I’ve done for that class combined with my normal job duties and new projects has left little time for this blog, but as always I return to it now with a focus on consistency.
My last post was about personal mission statements and my quest to develop a personal mission statement. I don’t know that I’m one hundred percent pleased with the outcome of this exploration, but I know it’s a good foundation. Here is the first iteration (bear in mind that we were given a worksheet by our supervisor that gave an outline for the format):
My mission as a librarian is to use my sense of humor and passion for teaching to educate others on the information landscape in order to foster sustainable information-use habits in the higher education community.
The development process for me included an exploration of my life as a whole, my skills, and my passions. This influenced the development of my library mission statement because I knew that sustainability and forming good habits are a basis of my entire life, not just librarianship. I feel blessed to have a strong sense of how to amuse a group of people, and haven’t done a library instruction where I didn’t get a positive response to my attempts at humor. I think humor is incredibly powerful because it lets you show humility and create a shared positive experience.
I used to perceive teaching narrowly as presenting information to a group of people in a formal setting, but my work as a librarian has greatly expanded that perception. I see every interaction I have with a person as an opportunity to teach or to learn. In my work as a librarian, every reference transaction is the opportunity to teach. Conversations with faculty can work in both directions. I have started to make an effort to keep my big goal of fostering sustainable information use habits in mind when I am engaging in all of my daily activities. In my personal life I have come to value the opportunity to learn from my peers and from people I meet in work and social situations. I think this is why I’m now hooked on podcasts!
I kept my statement localized to higher education because that’s my current frame of reference, but this could easily be removed or adapted to reflect any changes in my environment. To be able to fully support the main objective (sustainable information-use habits) it makes sense to keep my focus narrowed to the population with which I am currently engaged. This informs my professional development and choice of projects. One of my goals for this was to develop a north star that I could return to when I am feeling frustrated, challenged or uninspired and I think this mission statement achieves that goal.
The exercise of developing the statement, sharing it blindly with colleagues, and reflecting as a group on the experience was very rewarding. It generated a lively discussion on our work as librarians, personality types, and the value of having something with which to align one’s goals. We identified common themes such as service, a focus on reducing library anxiety, and continuous personal/professional development. My colleagues were gracious enough to allow me to share their mission statements here:
“To provide high quality library services. To empower library patrons by providing research assistance and learning opportunities that allow them to effectively use online and print resources to support their academic endeavors. To foster and maintain collaborative professional relationships with my librarian colleagues and assigned faculty.”
“To use a personal skill set and help students along their way to being successful is creative, interesting, and makes a useful work day. It’s a way to be of use in the world and I enjoy solving problems.”
“I enjoy helping people find information, solve problems, achieve their full potential, and share their own unique gifts and contributions, so that hopefully, we all make the world a better place.”
“Help students find and utilize information in the most effective manner possible, while creating a positive learning environment. Continue to learn, develop and grow intellectually so that I can best serve students and faculty with their various research interests and day to day needs.”
“I come to work because I want to use my information retrieval skills to help connect the students with information they need for their study. I want to help ease the students’ anxiety of navigating the library resources.”
“At its core, librarianship allows me to indulge my passion for teaching and learning. Therefore, by using my knowledge of library resources and pedagogy, and by working to keep those skills current and relevant, I endeavor to create and support positive learning opportunities for all UCF and partner library constituencies. This includes making use of innovative approaches in classroom instruction sessions, expanding and refining my role as an embedded librarian, and developing informational programs on relevant topics.”
“I use my dedication to service and friendly personality to aid others in finding information or tools they need in order to provide a positive library experience and decrease research anxiety.”