Professional Learning and Development Series for School Library Staff
I love learning. I love professional development (confession: I might also be slightly addicted to professional development). I love learning new things. Challenge me, throw me something new to puzzle over or research and I am happy. I love attending conferences, watching webinars, collaborating in Twitter chats, listening to podcasts, searching Pinterest, reading articles and more. If it is new, inspiring, or helpful, I want to know all about it.
I believe, whether you are a head of library, teacher librarian, library technician, library aide or other, you should be learning and up-skilling constantly. There is always something we can learn, something new we can try. I find that learning is what keeps me excited about working in a school library. But sometimes it can be hard to find professional development or learning opportunities specifically for school librarians. It’s also hard to find the time. We in school libraries are so busy, when do we actually have the time to sit and read or watch? I’m going to share my top favourite resources for finding professional development for school library staff and share some tips on how I fit them all into my schedule.
What began as a single post quickly became an epic, very long post about all the different sources I regularly check in with for professional learning, so I decided to instead turn this into a 7 part series. It will hopefully give you (and me) something to refer to when you are looking for your next professional learning experience. Check back here for each instalment of the series, in which I will cover everything from social media to networking, and podcasts and webinars. I will focus on learning opportunities you can access freely, as well as a few you need to pay for.
Creating a PLN
I would be remiss in creating a professional learning series without first mentioning PLNs. You may have come across the term PLN or Personal Learning Network before. Basically, it means creating, maintaining and drawing from a network of trusted people and resources you connect with and learn from. A PLN can include colleagues you work with, a local librarian network, online learning tools, social media connections, resources, basically anything or anybody you learn from. If you are wanting to learn more about PLNs, especially in an education or school library context, look no further than Kay Oddone – read her thesis here, post here, or her blog here.