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.
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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.
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UB LIS PORTFOLIO REFLECTIVE COMPREHENSIVE ESSAY