posted October 9, 2014 9:41 AM by Hayley Botnen
Lately I've been thinking a lot about perception and subjectivity. Those are both ideas that we come across a lot in the fields of Library Science and Children's Literature. As librarians, we're supposed to set our own feelings aside and rely on what the patron is telling us. For example, if someone is asking for a "scary book," we should get more of a sense of what they're looking for by asking what they've read recently that's like what they want or other factors they're looking for like a certain kind of protagonist. Reader's Advisory is, I think, a lot about putting personal preference aside. I'm not a huge fan of Stephen King (much to my father's disappointment), but if someone was looking for a book that was scary and set in a cemetery with an adult male protagonist, I might suggest Pet Sematary.
When looking at books from the perspective of my Children's Literature courses, I can use my own perception of the book. Reading a book is ultimately a subjective experience. No matter what critical theorists might say, reading is an intensely personal experience. I might share similar opinions on books with people, but I can never know what it's like for them to read it. I guess I've just been thinking about the world from other points of views--the old "walk a mile in someone else's shoes" adage.
Over all, I think I'm just trying to keep in mind that everyone has their own thoughts and feelings. I know that this is something that kids have a hard time learning, but I think adults start to forget. We get so wrapped up in our own lives and problems that we forget about the people around us. I want to remember that other people have thoughts and feelings and will disagree with me. That's okay.
All the Best - Hayley