What a great start to a class we had! I’m always excited when I get to be around a bunch of librarians (or an archivist or two!) because we’re usually just a really magnificent group of people (as we were saying in class, librarians just tend to be very nice people). I’m glad that there are people willing to share differing opinions from their classmates because it makes for some useful and engaging discussions!
While I found much of this class interesting, the one thing I wanted to discuss more thoroughly was the quiz we took on fixed vs. growth mindset. I was 100% growth mindset. This didn’t shock me; I’ve seen people learn and grow in intelligence and talent, and I think that part of a job of a librarian is to encourage that growth. That being said, I don’t think that being a fixed mindset is a negative way to be as a librarian, either. As one of our classmates noted, the wording on the quiz is a bit deceptive and might skew the results. I’ll admit on something like talent, I’m always a bit shaky on what I think because people do talk about a “natural talent” that someone has that wasn’t practiced or even necessarily taught. One boy in my grade could draw magnificently, but he said he was never taught to draw, and that he just simply did it. Natural talent, then, can be considered a fixed mindset. However, I’ve known someone who couldn’t dribble a basketball for anything and two years later was on the varsity basketball team because he practiced (thus a growth mindset). Intelligence, too, can be thought of in the same way; I knew people that had an innate ability in math and never studied, while I had to slave away for hours to achieve the same (okay, maybe a little worse) results. My point is that although I think growth mindsets are important in librarians, I don’t think it’s a requirement, and I certainly don’t think that if someone scored an entirely fixed mindset than they shouldn’t be a librarian. I think it depends on how a librarian applies those mindsets.
I’m extremely interested in seeing what this class has in store. I’ve never been involved in a lot of instruction in my library job besides the computer questions (“can you help me with my e-mail?”) or showing someone how to use an e-reader/computer catalog, so I’m intrigued as to finding out more about the role of teaching in librarianship. (Although as I typed this, I kept thinking of more things I did instruct patrons in, so maybe I did more instructing than I originally thought!)
(Also, the ache to go to the ALA annual conference in Las Vegas is strong…not only are ALA conferences one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, but an influx of tens of thousands of librarians in Vegas is bound to be a sight to see!)