Thing #2 asked that participants read blog posts by some other participants, leave some comments on their posts, and then come back here to write a little about what I read. The Delicious page set up to list all of the participants was helpful in that I could quickly pick and choose those blogs I wanted to visit. Because I work in public libraries in the US, that was where I placed my focus when reading other blogs. However, this program is definitely international with lots of participants in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia (not to mention some non-English speaking countries).
Reading a little about librarianship in other countries proved interesting. At Laura's Dark Archive (it's not nearly as spooky as it sounds...), I learned that librarians in the UK who are in the process of earning their degrees have a requirement from CILIP (the UK equivalent of the ALA) that they participate in reflective writing. I love this idea! I have found that the simple act of writing about an experience not only helps to ingrain what I've learned from the experience but also reveals thoughts and feelings about the experience about which I was unaware I even had until I wrote them down.
It would be nice to see more of this kind of requirement in American library school work as a supplement to the more common research and reading synthesis type of assignments that are typical of these programs. Besides, if students are required to write reflectively on a regular basis, they may be more likely to maintain this practice as they move into their professional careers. This development could only be a benefit to all of us and our library users!
Another blog I found while undertaking this exercise was Bethany Grabow - Enthusiastic Librarian. Her site is more than just a blog; it's her online portfolio which I thought was well done. This kind of online presence, which can be easily found by potential employers, makes a job candidate more competitive, I believe. Before I've ever met the candidate, I can see that they are technologically savvy, I have the opportunity to see a little of what the person is like aside from their "candidate" persona, and I can even get a sense of how well the person communicates using the written word (which is a skill that is really, really important if one hopes to succeed professionally).