UB LIS PORTFOLIO REFLECTIVE COMPREHENSIVE ESSAY (2,500-5,000 words) Revised Instructions Updated Mar. 15, 2014 This essay should analyze your program of study and how it has contributed to your achieving the LIS program learning objectives as well as your own educational and professional goals. It is best to approach this essay by considering your own plan of study—your courses, the assignments you completed and the practica and special projects you undertook. Use all of these to discuss what you learned by addressing the questions as outlined below. Use your projects, work artifacts, the contents of lectures and any practical work experiences as evidence to support your discussion. This outline is a guide to help you to structure your essay. You are required to follow this structure and to note the objective numbers (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) at the beginning of each topical discussion area. While this essay is highly structured, it is not a “fill-in-the-blank, question-and-answer” test. Your essay, though structured into these parts, should be your own prose and a synthesis of your learning. Make your points and weave the evidence—work products, learning from readings or lectures and exercises in practical application, either in work, a practicum or as part of an assignment—into a coherent whole. You can certainly refer to the points you made you your work product reflections and repeat only the main points from those reflections in this essay. Example of the prose you might use in addressing 1.4 - the history and development of information agencies, including libraries, and their influence on the development of society and culture. You must begin the paragraph with the appropriate number: 1.4. I have developed grounding in the history and development of information agencies, including libraries, and their influence on the development of society and culture through my course work in both LIS XXX and LIS XXX. As notes in my reflection for the XX assignment in LIS XXX , I learned that … . Lectures and discussions in LIS XXX, specifically the sections on “Libraries and Change Agents” made me realize that …. This will be important as I move into my desired career as a public librarian in a rural library because …. Of course, I cannot rule out the impact that being a patron of large suburban library had in forming my initial impressions of the roles of libraries, which I had previously taken for granted. Learning about … in LIS XXX changed by initial understanding of just how important a library can be in a relatively isolated environment. My practicum experience at Acme Town Library, reiterated the learning I acquired in these classes and has inspired me to focus on small rural libraries to both provide sources of reliable information and to serve as a “heart” of the community. Remember that you may not be able to address everything on the list below, and that is okay. There may have been some things (i.e. pedagogy) that you did not learn given the classes you took. Simply state so. There is no “wrong” or “right” in the content of these essays. The objective is to make you think critically about your learning in terms of the program’s objectives since this is the learning you will be taking forward into your professional careers. RUBRIC FOR EVALUATION Satisfactory The essay addresses the questions posed and demonstrates thoughtful reflection about the student's educational experiences and growth as an information professional. Unsatisfactory It is difficult to ascertain from the essay how experiences in the pro-gram resulted in educational and professional growth. The essay clearly demonstrates the synthesis of the LIS program’s learning objectives with the student’s own professional goals and commitment to the information profession. Professional goals and commitment are sketchy or missing. There is no attempt to reflect on program learning objectives. Specific examples of experiences are included. Examples are unrelated or missing. The reflective essay is well written, clearly organized and demonstrates reflection and critical thinking. Organization of the reflective essay is haphazard. Reflection is simplistic or missing. The essay is poorly written. REQUIRED ESSAY STRUCTURE: PART I: What are the theoretical and conceptual foundations of LIS that you believe will be most important to you as an information professional? Explain why these principles are important. 1. Address the theoretical and conceptual foundations of LIS that will be important to you as an information professional. Consider the following and explain why these principles are important. Explain, with examples where possible, what have you learned about: 1.1. the nature of information and its role in learning, research and scholarship, business, society, and culture. 1.2. the history and development of the ways and means of communication (language and writing, information technologies) and their influence on the development of society and culture.; 1.3. the history and development of information agencies, including libraries, and their influence on the development of society and culture; 1.4. national and international systems of information and communication and the diverse types of information agencies, including libraries, archives, museums, publishing industry, media, Internet, etc.; 1.5. the role of library and information services in a diverse global society, including the role of serving the needs of underserved groups; the importance of the development of the partnerships and collaborations needed to make libraries vital parts of their communities. 1.6. the role of library and information services in a rapidly changing technological society. Explain how you are equipped to respond to the evolving needs, emerging technologies and your ability to adapt LIS technologies and services to address these trends; 1.7. the legal framework within which information agencies, including libraries, operate, including laws relating to copyright, privacy, freedom of information, freedom of expression, equal rights (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act), and intellectual property; 1.8. the importance of research to the advancement of the field's knowledge base and demonstrate an awareness of some of the central research findings and research literature of the field; 1.9. 1.10. the importance of contributions of library and information studies to other fields of knowledge; the importance of contributions of other fields of knowledge to library and information studies; applying an evolving body of knowledge that reflects the findings of basic and applied research from such relevant fields. 2. What domain knowledge and skills required to carry out information functions have you learned? Discuss, with examples where possible, what have you learned about: 2.1. analyzing information needs and to design, promote, and assess information services; 2.2. managing user-oriented collections of information resources and access; 2.3. applying principles of knowledge organization for a wide range of applications, from organizing a collection to expert searching to support for learning; 2.4. technology and the uses of technology by individuals and organizations. What have you learned in terms of the kinds of knowledge and skills needed for carrying out information functions? 2.5. the principles of information seeking and of reference and user services in different modes of communication (face-to-face, telephone, computer communication) for users of all ages and groups, including those with diverse styles of information use and diverse physical and intellectual abilities and needs; 2.6. the principles and application of pedagogy, including learning theories, instructional design, instructional methods, lesson planning, and assessment methods needed to function as effective reference counselors, teachers, instructors, and mentors. 3. There are general knowledge and skills that are applicable across professions, including skills in management, communication and collaboration, research, and critical thinking. Discuss you understanding of the following and use examples to point out what you have learned about: 3.1. leadership principles and successfully leading and managing libraries and information agencies; 3.2. managing your own work, including priority setting and time management; 3.3. effective communication in multiple media, including production of shared communication (presenting, speaking, writing, visual design); 3.4. effective collaboration, via various media, with people in other disciplines, professions, or professional positions; 3.5. applying a variety of research methods / methods of inquiry; exhibiting critical thinking, and both assessing and applying research findings. PART 2: What are the professional values that will guide you as an information professional? Explain how these professional values will guide you. 4. Discuss your understanding of the nature of the LIS profession and the roles, responsibilities, and values of library and information professionals; and how prepared you are to put professional values into practice. Address this by discussing what you have learned about: 4.1. career paths available in the information profession; discerning the career path best suited to your abilities, strengths, and interests and designing an appropriate plan of study; 4.2. the nature of the information profession and the roles and responsibilities of information professionals. 4.3. the values of the profession; how are you prepared to put these values into practice? 4.4. being reflective professionals: reflecting on your actions and being open to critique and suggestions from all sides. 4.5. practical professional experience – though a job or through in-service education. 4.6. serving as leaders and advancing the field. 5. Discuss the importance of personal qualities conducive to professional success and your own development as professionals with these qualities. Address at least 10 of the qualities below (and any others not listed) that you feel are most important: 5.1. 5.2. 5.3. 5.4. Poise and professional appearance Integrity Authenticity Interpersonal skills, be engaging and friendly 5.5. 5.6. 5.7. 5.8. 5.9. 5.10. 5.11. 5.12. 5.13. 5.14. 5.15. 5.16. 5.17. 5.18. 5.19. 5.20. 5.21. 5.22. 5.23. 5.24. 5.25. 5.26. 5.27. Empathy. Tolerance. Respectfulness. Confidence Assertiveness. Persistence. Self-motivation. Creativity. Innovativeness. Resourcefulness Flexibility / Adaptability / Versatility Initiative Being proactive. Enthusiasm. Passion. Energy. Positive thinking Interest in learning / intellectual curiosity. Ability to work with others / team member. Ability to follow rules and procedures, willingness "to serve as private before becoming a general" Dependability Assumes responsibility Ability to work beyond job boundaries. PART 3: How do particular items of evidence in your portfolio, including those you have discussed in your essay thus far, reflect the bodies of knowledge and skills that will enable you join the profession as a leader, to demonstrate professional excellence and social responsibility and to “transform lives through information?” Choose 2 -3 items of evidence discussed this far and discuss how these artifacts provide evidence of your learning. Once again, you will you use this learning to make a difference and become a leader in the profession you plan to enter? FINALLY, a few tips… Follow the structure outlined above and include the headings Ex. Introduction… Part 1 Introduction… 1.1. Your discussion of this objective, evidence and learning. 1.2. Your discussion of this objective, evidence and learning. … 3.5. Your discussion of this objective, evidence and learning. Part 2 Introduction… 4.1. Your discussion of this objective, evidence and learning. … 5.27. Your discussion of the personal qualities you feel are most important – you should briefly address at least 10 and discuss why they are important in professional success and in your own personal and professional growth. Part 3 Your discussion and conclusion. Check your spelling; Check your grammar; Check your spelling AGAIN!! Check your style; Your writing style should be that expected at the graduate level Have a friend edit your essay; Do not wait until your final semester to begin the work for this! This is the culminating project in the MLS program – if you are proud of the work you have completed, your essay should reflect this.