As a longtime library employee, I am interested in the topic of professional development or professional learning experiences. As my level of responsibility has increased in my workplace, so has my interest in developing new skills and approaches to doing my job well. As someone who is pursuing a professional career in public libraries, I do try to take advantage of any training opportunities that come my way through my workplace, but there are budgetary and staffing realities that seem to get in the way of offering much in the way of meaningful trainings at my organization.
While a lot of library staff apparently prefer in-person trainings and gatherings (according to this: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=personal-actionable-accessible-office-hours), I will say that I am learning a lot from various free webinars for librarians and other library staff that are easily accessible online. I have been officially “working from home,” for more than a month now, with the expectation that I will be viewing and/or attending trainings available online. Yesterday I watched a webinar that a librarian from the library system that I work for took part in. She gave a presentation on various programs and community partnerships that have been successful at her location. I realized while watching it that despite the fact that her library branch is only 1.5 miles away from the branch where I work, I had no idea about many of the successful programs and initiatives that she and her staff had implemented and carried out. I think it can be challenging for librarians to share what they are doing even within the same library system, because they are busy and their branches are short-staffed, etc. I am thankful that through the magic of the internet, and Zoom, I was able to see her presentation (part of the “Mental Health in the Time of Covid-19 panel, available here).
In order to be successful as a librarian, I do believe that continuous learning is necessary. Successful librarians respond to their communities’ needs and interests, which requires keeping up with all kinds of trends, whether it be technology trends, educational trends, or what have you. I think that any method of learning (whether it be at a conference, or online) can be beneficial.
- Reflection Blog #4 – New Horizons
- Virtual Symposium (Director’s Brief Slide Presentation)