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Zen and the Art of Constructive Criticism

A wonderful piece from Erin Dorney at the In the Library with the Lead Pipe blog:

Zen and the Art of Constructive Criticism by

“If there were a single piece of advice I have for new professionals entering the field of librarianship, it would be to develop the skill of giving and receiving criticism. This isn’t something I’ve been able to find in an LIS course catalog, slate of webinar programming, or conference booklet . . . Even when handled constructively, feedback can be a heavy burden, particularly for new professionals entering the field. Our hesitation to educate and engage in positive feedback models is symptomatic of a black and white view of the world. In librarianship, this view manifests itself through dualities like cataloging or public services; user-focused or stuck in the past; innovative or resistant to change; colleagues who love us or hate us. Communication is seen as either good or bad, delineation often made within seconds based on gut reaction and the context surrounding a particular situation or person involved. But every situation has its shades of gray. Although we are not our ideas and we are not our words, we often place a sense of ownership and identity in communication. The difficult part comes when we need to separate ourselves from what we say and what we hear.”

I try to give constructive criticism but, as is human, fail sometimes.  This longer, thoughtful post is constructive and wise.



Posted on: May 6, 2012, 6:54 am Category: Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Thanks for the kind words, Stephen!