Exploring Librarianship through Critical Reflection


Dates: July 6 - August 2

Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

At the end of this course, participants will be able to: Understand the role reflection plays in shaping librarianship; articulate the characteristics of various types of critical reflection techniques (autobiography, autoethnography, currere, etc.); draw connections between their personal lives and their professional library lives; and create their own personal narratives and critical reflections.

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Course Information



1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

Registration dates

We accept registrations through the first week of classes, unless enrollment is full, and unless the class was canceled before it started due to low enrollment.

Course Description

Critical reflection on our library practices can connect everyday librarianship to the philosophy, values, and ethics that shape our discipline. As such, ongoing reflection is an essential librarian competency to bridge thought and action; uncover personal values of librarianship; and ground librarian practice with library theory. Librarianship has an intimate association with narratives and stories from their traditional role in curating, caring for, and making collections accessible. Librarians also experience the intricacies and challenges of narrative inquiry through the qualitative research they undertake, oral histories they gather, reflective teaching practices they facilitate, and oral-traditions they interact with. Despite these intersections with reflection and narratives, librarianship has not fully incorporated or developed our own narratives within our library practices. Shadiow (2013) encourages us all to “recall, retell, and then scrutinize your stories”. This course will lead participants through a critical reflection curriculum that will encourage them to “recall, retell, and then scrutinize” their own library stories. Critical reflection has the potential to revitalize library practice, combat symptoms of librarian burnout, and inspire new directions.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role reflection plays in shaping librarianship
  • Articulate the characteristics of various types of critical reflection techniques (autobiography, autoethnography, currere, etc.)
  • Draw connections between their personal lives and their professional library lives
  • Create their own personal narratives and critical reflections

Shadiow, L. (2013). What our stories teach us : A guide to critical reflection for college faculty (Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, Wiley.


Rick Stoddart

Rick StoddartRick Stoddart is the library assessment coordinator at the University of Oregon Libraries. Rick holds an MLIS and MA in Communication from the University of Alabama. He also has an Ed.D. from Boise State University where his dissertation reported on a research project leading a group of librarians through a critical reflection curriculum. He has co-edited a book from ACRL Press on autoethnography, a critical reflective research methodology. Rick’s research interests include evidence-based librarianship, strategic thinking, and exploring the intersection of librarianship and learning. Rick strongly believes in the potential of writing as discovery, collaborative inquiry, creative thinking, school libraries, and empowering others. He is the past-President of the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA).

How to Register

To enroll yourself or other participants in a class, use the “Register” button that follows the description of each course. If the “Register” button does not show up, try loading the page in a different web browser. Contact us if you have technical difficulties using our shopping cart system or would like to pay for an enrollment using another method. On the payment page in the shopping cart system, there is a place to add notes, such as the names and email addresses of participants you wish to enroll. We will contact you to request this information in response to your processed payment if you do not include it in the “notes” field. Prior to the start of the workshop, we will send participants their login instructions.

Payment Info

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Alternatively, if it is an institutional payment, we can arrange to invoice you. Contact us by email, and we can make arrangements to suit your institution's business processes.

Special Session

Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.


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