GPPL: Theory vs. Practice: The Importance of Both for Success

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I’m a second-year student in the LIT program at MacEwan University, and I’ve spent the last month taking my practicum here at GPPL. I was asked to write a newspaper article on my experience of translating classroom learning into a real-life setting.

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Theory: it’s the basis for understanding how different processes work. Musicians, artists, and scientists all use theory. And the same is true for library workers. Two years of learning about the inner workings of libraries, customer service, and programs. As a student during the pandemic, it was easy to forget that library work is people-based work; we worked online for three-quarters of our student careers. And then, at the end of those two years, getting put into an actual physical library.

Yes, it just got real.

What did I learn about again? Did we discuss the proper way to handle this situation? What do you mean I have to talk to other people?

Joking aside, theory can only get you so far. Would you easily call someone a musician if they know the theory of notes but can’t play an instrument? The practical experience of working in a library for a month has made the last two years of classwork (the theory) worth it.

I’ll be honest: there have been times during this practicum when I have felt confused or frustrated⁠—usually when I remember something I learned about in school that I should have done or said but thought of after the fact… or wish we had looked at more in-depth in classes. That said, the theory has helped me see where I can improve myself toward a future career in a library setting. Having real interactions and not just scenarios has been incredibly valuable. Learning day-to-day operations and seeing and talking to people in the field have been incredible, and I am fortunate to have had this opportunity.

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This opportunity has impressed upon me that people truly are the foundation of libraries, and no concept can show the importance of that until you live it out. The practical hands-on experience brings the ideas to life, just as the learning component has enhanced my understanding and capabilities I can use for library work.


Dungeons and Dragons

Crazy things are happening in Baldur’s Gate. Rumors of a city vanishing, sightings of cultists of the Dead Three, and both the Flaming Fists and the council sitting leaderless.

Register for this bi-weekly adventure, Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus beginning April 7. Please email Colten at [email protected] to reserve your spot. Maximum number of players: 6


Want to go on an adventure but still make it home before the sun rises? Join us for a drop-in one-shot adventure every other week starting April 14. A variety of pre-made characters are ready to be picked, named, and head out! Maximum number of players: 8. Adults only, please.

Date: Thursdays

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Location: French Language Resource Center at GPPL

Bethany Idema for Grande Prairie Public Library

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