Information professionals around the world go through numerous years of schooling and formal learning to get where they are today. However, the learning doesn’t stop once they leave school, but continues throughout their career as libraries adapt to changes over time. Michael Stephens (2018) discusses the idea of conferences as a way to interact and engage with each other. I recently had the opportunity to attend California Library Association (CLA)’s annual conference in October and I learned a new thing about libraries and about myself as a future information professional in every session I attended. The conference served as the grounds for multiple informal discussions regarding libraries and allowed librarians to learn about emerging trends and how to educate or train staff about them.
As trends continue to emerge, a librarian’s training may be outdated or not relevant to meet the demands of the community. Although training for each and every new idea integrated into the library is ideal, not all libraries have the extra time to send their staff. Pewhairangi (2016) proposes learning opportunities using the library as a classroom for professional development. A skill that should frequently be explored and built upon is the digital literacy skill. Much of the library revolves around emerging technologies and library staff should be digitally competent in order to assist patrons. Without extra funds to send all staff members for off-site digital literacy training, Pewhairangi (2016) has created 9 digital literacy courses that are practical for information professionals and focuses on the use of the library as a classroom for developing professional skills. What stood out to me in this course is Pewhairangi has included an assessment for users to receive feedback. Information professionals all have different levels of digital competency and the assessment is able to show gaps in the training or areas that need to be addressed.
The library is constantly changing, and library staff have to keep up with these changes. Learning is a lifelong process and information professionals have an opportunity to use their workplace (the library) to enhance their skills and discover new tools to assist with trends.
Pewhairangi, S. (2016). The library as a classroom for library staff. Finding Heroes. Retrieved from https://findingheroes.co.nz/2016/06/28/the-library-as-a-classroom-for-library-staff/
Stephens, M. (2018). PLEs @ ALA. Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=ljx181002newsOfficeHours