Michelle Armstrong is the associate dean of Albertsons Library. She presented at this year’s conference for the Idaho Library Association. The annual meeting took place Oct. 6 and 7 in Lewiston. This year’s theme was “growing libraries, connecting communities.”
Armstrong’s presentation, “Dear Diary – Using Written Reflective Practices to Develop Professionally” explored reflective writing techniques and gave participants skills to build their specific professional knowledge and expertise.
While this is her personal scholarship, the work supports an element of Albertsons Library’s strategic plan: Ensure a library workforce has the level of professional skill and expertise needed for a modern academic library. Armstrong developed techniques employees can use to increase their professional performance. Her goal is to implement this model with library employees.
“All library work comes with some degree of stress. With changing patron needs and limited resources, library staff carry a heavy load. However, our professional practices rarely offer time to truly learn from our work. While organized professional development is good, it’s separate from everyday events. Reflective practice, actively observing our experiences often through writing, provides tools for continuous learning,” explains Armstrong.