|A.2.3 – Reflection Script – Mindy Enderle – February 25, 2014
Ever since I took my first trip abroad to Japan in high school, I have become deeply interested in exploring new cultures, languages, and ideas. My trip to Japan sparked my interest in origami, which I have used frequently with the students with whom I work. This is a photograph of the 1,000 cranes that the students in my program and I folded for my wedding two years ago. I supplied the paper and instructions, and they supplied their diligence and creativity in helping me complete the project. It truly was a wonderful process that was borne out of my experiences in the Japanese culture. I’m so glad I was able to share that experience with those students.
Additionally, studying abroad in Mexico allowed me to become deeply absorbed in the Mexican culture, with a special appreciation of the holiday Dia de los Muertos. During my semester, I observed ofrendas being built and displayed, gravestones being cleaned and decorated, and skulls and pan de muerto being sold in the streets. During my senior year of my undergraduate coursework, I completed a capstone project during which I researched the differences in perceptions of death in the Mexican culture as compared to the American culture. In my current job, I have incorporated things like decorating sugar skulls and assigning writing topics as a way to commemorate this holiday.
Experiencing diverse cultures, languages, and ideas has helped me to develop into an open-minded, mature adult who strives to welcome and accept all children into the public library setting. Diversity exposure has helped me to become the best person I know how to be, and it is my career goal to help children become the best people they can be, too.
I do not currently work in the children’s services department at Austin Public Library, but I do work alongside several youth librarians and youth program managers in my role. As I began to outline my digital advocacy story, I found myself thinking, “What better way to lay a strong foundation for this project then to ask the experts?!” My first step in completing this project was to e-mail and speak directly with several children’s librarians about how they currently promote diversity and why they think it is important to do so.
The first part of my video outlines different responses that I got about how diversity is already being promoted to young children. I thought it was important to do this because: a) I personally wanted to learn about this topic as I don’t currently hold a children’s librarian position and b) because I thought it was a great means to get my intended audience, children’s librarians, to reflect and become more cognizant of how they are already promoting diversity.
In order to effectively convey the message that promoting diversity is important, I chose to both cite direct responses from experts in the field as well as critical research. My own reasoning behind why this issue is important needs to stand up against critics who oppose it. Being able to support my reasoning with facts is key to convincing others as to the veracity of my argument.
Finally, I wanted the message to center around the idea that promoting diversity is do-able and not something “extra” that needs to be added into a daily routine. Getting involved in one of the ALA’s five ethnic affiliates or attending an ALSC webinar is an easy way to enhance one’s career and doesn’t take a lot of extra time or research. Resources offered through ALA and ALSC are at the fingertips of all children’s librarians.
As a way to garner feedback on my video, I posted it on the ALSC facebook page, the Literacy Matters cohort Facebook page, on LinkedIn, and e-mailed several librarians within the field.
Although I wish that I could have received more feedback from LinkedIn and the ALSC Facebook page, I understand that librarians are extremely busy and may not have the time nor the energy to critique a video that does not directly relate to their everyday work. It appeared that those two sites were not heavily trafficked, so this also could have contributed to why I did not receive much feedback.
I am, however, very pleased with the feedback that I did receive. Seven individuals responded on the Literacy Matters Facebook page, one responded on LinkedIn, and I had several responses through e-mail. Many sources pointed out that the strengths of my video were the ideas, the organization, the overall message, and the appropriate length. Because of this, I did not end up changing much of the content. Several people were helpful in pointing out that some of my slides contained too much text to read in a shortened period of time. I also changed font colors to make text more visible, corrected a couple misspelled words, and lengthened a few slides to improve the overall appearance of my video. This was all thanks to constructive feedback I received.
Diversity certainly matters to me, and I hope that it now matters a little bit more to the children’s librarians who have viewed my video!