Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice

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Too much of the time our attempts at achieving a work/life balance instead amount to a rigid compartmentalization of the different parts of our lives. But the very qualities that make us human, including our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, are the keys to making us better librarians and teachers. The path forward is through reflection, which can help us gain insights that are applicable both personally and professionally. In this book Reale employs a conversational tone to lead readers through the steps of reflective practice, offering

  • a concise framework for reflective practice, from laying the groundwork and getting started through creating and sustaining a reflexive loop;
  • guidance on how to use journaling as a tool for expressing experiences, creating a dialogue with oneself, listmaking, and other constructive reflection;
  • tips for becoming a reflective practitioner both inside and outside of the classroom;
  • a plan for using reflective practice with colleagues through conversation and collaboration; and
  • strategies at the end of each chapter for putting ideas into practice.

This thoughtful book illuminates reflective practice as a pedagogical tool that holds benefits both for ourselves as professionals and for our students.

Introduction: Reflection as Pedagogy

Chapter 1    Becoming Reflective
Chapter 2    Teach What You Know
Chapter 3    Reflective Practice as Intentional Practice
Chapter 4    The Way to Do Is to Begin
Chapter 5    The Cycles of Reflection
Chapter 6    The Role of the Journal in Reflection
Chapter 7    Reflection That Accentuates the Positive
Chapter 8    Reflective Practice with Colleagues
Chapter 9    Reflection in the Classroom
Chapter 10    Professional Autobiographical Reflection


Michelle Reale

Michelle Reale is a professor and access services and outreach librarian at Arcadia University. Her books include Inquiry and Research: A Relational Approach in the Classroom, The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change, Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library, Becoming an Embedded Librarian, and Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice. Her research interests are embedded librarianship, mentoring, narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry, and reflective practice.

”The convincing introduction, well worth reading, relays the benefits of reflection and relates the importance as reflection ‘helps us know how to be in the world, how to look at ourselves and our practices, examine our assumptions, and form a plan to move forward in our personal lives, our professional lives, and the inevitable conflation of the two’ … [this book is] a succinct entry into reflective strategies for college and university librarians and educators."

”Provides a process-oriented framework that serves as a solid guide for its implementation. And, entering such a practice with the mind of the learner will slowly reveal the value of being able to uncover those human qualities and passions that contribute to who we are as professional beings ... Moreover, this book can likely become an indispensable tool for many."
— Journal of Hospital Librarianship

”The author presents the material in an enjoyable manner that makes reading this book almost recreational, but the ideas will help one be a better librarian. This book is highly recommended for library professional collections. It could find a home in large and small libraries that want to reach librarians who can become better educators and managers."
— Catholic Library World

”Makes the case that reflection is the basis of critical pedagogy ... Recommended for teachers and librarians as an impetus to lead a more reflective professional life."
— Library Journal