Blog every day of June – Book reviews as professional development – Thu 19 June

I believe in taking responsibility for your own professional development and not relying on your employer to provide all your training.  There are other things, besides attending training, that you can do to help you develop as a librarian.

One of those ‘other’ things is writing book reviews.

I love writing book reviews for a few reasons:

  • they keep me writing
  • they make me aware of titles that are relevant to me, that I can follow up through ILL or buy
  • I get a copy of the titles that I write reviews for, which means I have in hand all the great ideas and information they contain
  • they keep me in touch with what’s important across different library sectors and library fields of expertise

Writing a book review is kind of like writing the essays you used to write at high school, but easier. The same because its around 400 words and different because you are writing about things you are sincerely interested in. Its also interesting writing about what impressed you (or didn’t) about a title you have for review.  Kind of like a written conversation with colleagues.

I am fortunate in that I receive and am able to keep the titles that I review.  Being big on professional development, I have donated them to my public library for their library science collection. This makes them accessible to library students and library staff alike (and occasionally someone in a related field).

Australian Library journals are always on the lookout for reviewers.

Want to develop yourself professionally, whilst giving back to the profession?  Book reviews may be one way you can do exactly that.