So, here we are at the end of Rudaí23. This is the last blog post I will write for now so it feels appropriate to look back, reflect and then look forward. To begin this I went back to my first blog post to see what I had written about what I hoped to achieve. How much of it came true? Here’s what I wrote: “As part of this, I’m guessing that I will be writing about my career in libraries, my experiences, my thoughts on various aspects of the library profession and possibly various other bits and pieces that take my fancy along the way.” I can see that I thought I’d be looking up and around at the library profession as a whole. But… as a recent television show posited, ‘Consciousness is a journey inward.’ Looking back over the blogs I have written through this, Rudaí23 has been much more about my own library practice, how I approach the work and how I utilise the tools available to me.
The first paragraph I wrote for Thing 2 was about my previous failures in keeping up this blog and hoping it wouldn’t happen again. I was well aware of the possibility of not finishing; indeed I had a serious lapse after Thing 10 and I didn’t write another post for two months. This meant I was way behind and I did seriously consider just finishing Section Two and leaving it at that. But I knew I’d feel bad if I didn’t finish the course and achieve what I had set out to do, so I dove in and swam frantically to reach the far shore. As with everything there benefits and costs to this. The more I did, the easier it was, but I could have done with spending longer on one or two sections. I have resolved to do that in the next few weeks. But I feel a real sense of achievement that I didn’t give up and that I came back to it after the absence to finish what I had started.
I also wanted to get back into writing and I definitely feel more comfortable now than I did back in September. The first posts were like pulling teeth and took me forever. I would write and delete and write and delete and still be unhappy with what I posted. But I knew that my writing muscles were rusty and that it would get better with time. I have enjoyed the writing more and more as the weeks passed and I think that it will only continue to improve. Funnily enough being delayed was a blessing in disguise as I wrote quite a lot over a short period and it really did help me to push me further. I really want to keep writing so I’m going to make a special effort to keep going with this and who knows where that will lead. It has reminded of how much I love getting my thoughts down ‘on paper.’
Each section was a mixture of practical advice on different tools and software but they also often led me to an examination of how and why I approach things the way I do and how I could improve in certain areas. I never expected that aspect; it has opened up a lot of avenues for exploration and reminded me to push myself, particularly in terms of my professional presence. I’ve also been thinking about how I can help students with their learning. It has been a while since I’ve done a course myself and this was a gentle reminder to me to remember my students learning needs and challenges when giving them a lot of information.
Looking forward I have made a few promises to myself. As previously posted I hope to go to the A&SL conference next year and I also want to work towards my Associateship. I think if I try to blog without a clear plan, I’ll get overwhelmed, panic and stop so I’m going to look for a MOOC related to librarianship and try to complete that. All suggestions and ideas welcome! I’ve had an idea for research that’s been brewing for a long time now so I have also resolved to seriously start reading around the subject and take it from there. And if I do all of those things I shall be very proud!
There only remains to thank all of the Rudaí23 team for running this course. I got so much more out of it than I was expecting. Special thanks to Michelle Breen who was my supportive co-ordinator and Kristopher Meen on the Rudaí23 Facebook page. And to all you fellow Rudaí23ers out there, I hope you enjoyed it too. Thanks for sharing the journey.