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Professional development in challenging times


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Presented at the Fintel Library Staff Training Day, July 13, 2011.

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Professional development in challenging times

  1. 1. Fintel LibraryStaff TrainingJuly 13, 2011
  2. 2. A few things(1) This presentation will be available on my SlideShare site: There will be a discussion component at the end. Go ahead and access this form to start contributing:
  3. 3. Professional development (defined)0 New knowledge0 New skills0 Increase professional capabilities0 Personal development0 Learning activities0 Maintain or enhance one’s competence0 Work with a mentor0 Social networking0 Personal branding (online identity)
  4. 4. For librarians and library staff?0 Service skills0 Reference techniques0 Outreach0 Collections and technical services0 Technology0 Subject specific topics0 Human resources/staff relations0 Teaching and learning0 Hot topics and issues (copyright, privacy, etc.)0 General current awareness
  5. 5. Challenges (defined)0 Money0 Time0 Definition of purpose0 Information overload0 Priorities
  6. 6. 0 “It seems to me that reading these publications should be a daily habit for every academic librarian—it’s like brushing your teeth or taking a shower before work…” --Steven Bell*0 “The information literate student…uses a variety of methods and emerging technologies for keeping current in the field” --ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology** *Bell, S. (2011). Hey, new academic librarian: You need to keep up, too. Library Journal. Retrieved from 264/hey_new_academic__librarian.html.csp **ACRL. Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology. Retrieved from
  7. 7. Professional development = professional responsibility0 Professional development is an organizational and an individual responsibility0 You need to know about the tools that will get you where you want to be, regardless of how much money or time you currently have0 Engaging in, and contributing to, professional development opportunities can keep your job exciting, and help you continually improve your service to your community
  8. 8. What we spend ($$)0 As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education*, U.S. academic librarians spend an average of $1,484 on costs associated with conferences (travel, lodging, food) *Laster, J. (2010). Report measures librarians’ time reading job-related materials. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from librarians-time-reading-job-related-materials/21641
  9. 9. What we spend (time)0 The same article reports that academic librarians spend an average of 22 minutes a day reading print publications and 10 minutes a day reading library themed blogs: 0 Librarians 60 or older spent an average of 31 minutes a day reading print material 0 Librarians 30 or younger spent an average of 19 minutes a day reading library-related blogs
  10. 10. Where we spend it0 WebJunction annually surveys its users (library staff) on their use of online tools and resources. The poll asks for users to report their behavior both professionally and personally.0 The 2011 report* was just released, and had a few interesting findings…*SharonS. (2011, July 6). Library staff report use of online tools (again). Retrieved from tools-again/
  11. 11. Summary0 WebJunction received a total of 1039 responses to this survey. Although 70% were from public libraries, the results may have implications for all of us: 0 Professional use of social networks lags behind personal use of social networks 0 Email listservs continue to be a main source of information and discussion 0 There seems to be a low level of use of RSS feeds among library staff (48% have never used them professionally??) 0 Extremely low use of webinars and professional (online) periodicals.
  12. 12. The tools…0 Structured webinars or courses0 Organizational websites0 Blogs0 Social networks0 Free, online university courses (podcasts)0 Shared presentation sites0 Scholarly identity tools0 Organizational and management tools0 Old-fashioned tools: 0 Books and journals 0 People (you and your colleagues)
  13. 13. Self-paced courses (just a few) Five Weeks to a Social Library: se/ 23 Things Programshttp://www.cpd23.blogspot.com W3C Schools Online Tutorials:
  14. 14. Webinars0 NEFLIN: VLA Blog: Georgia Library Association Carterette Series: Series_Webinars0 ALA TechSource: WebJunction: EDUCAUSE Live!: TechSoup for Libraries:
  15. 15. Other sites (institutions, organizations)0 EDUCAUSE: 0 Certification, Education, Training, and Tutorials 0 7 Things You Should Know 0 Horizon Report (Annual) LOC Web out the “current awareness” pages
  16. 16. Blogs0 Examples: 0 0 theshiftedlibrarian 0 The Travelin’ Librarian 0 Confessions of a Science Librarian 0 Annoyed Librarian 0 Mashable 0 Arts & Letters Daily 0 Chronicle of Higher Education 0 Library Garden 0 The Kept Up Librarian
  17. 17. MicrobloggingThese tools allow for short updates or pieces of information:0 Twitter 0 LISNews 0 Library Journal 0 ALANews 0 SLJournal 0 LISWire0 Tumblr
  18. 18. Facebook0 Many organizations and library leaders post things in FB that don’t appear in other places0 Consider these options when you’re “liking” pages 0 Internet Librarian 0 Virginia Library Association 0 VLACRL 0 American Libraries Magazine 0 Library Journal 0 Library & Information Technology Association 0 Library programs/schools 0 Specific leaders (Joe Murphy, Lisa Carlucci Thomas, etc.)
  19. 19. Examples from my FB network
  20. 20. Other coursesFor librarians interested in gaining subject-specific knowledge without investing in a new degree, that goal has never been easier to attain Free, online courses:  MIT (  Yale ( Podcasts (iTunes U): podcasts from over 400 universities  Open University  Beyond Campus  Library of Congress  Software  Languages  Much, much more
  21. 21. Shared presentationsMany professionals upload instruction sessions, how-to’s and other presentations to sites that allow them to share their knowledge0 SlideShare: authorSTREAM: Scribd: Slideboom:
  22. 22. WikisLibraries have trulyembraced wikitechnologyCollaborationCreate your own, orcollaborate withother institutions using PBWorks MediaWiki Wikispaces Wetpaint
  23. 23. Social bookmarkingSocial bookmarking allows you to store, organize, and share items that you find on the web. You can also see what sites/items are popular, and create collaborative resources 0 Delicious: 0 Digg: 0 StumbleUpon: 0 Reddit:
  24. 24. Professional Reading0 Goodreads My “professional” bookshelf, shared with others and linked to other, related books0 Open Access Journals 0 DOAJ: Library & Information Science titles ( 0 Current Cites ( 0 LibDex ( 0 BUBL Journals ( 0 E-Prints in Library & Information Science (
  25. 25. Scholarly identity and collaborationAn essential part of professional development iscultivating your own scholarly identity and connectingwith others in your network0 LinkedIn: Mendeley: ResearcherID: Scholar Universe: Nature Network:
  26. 26. Purpose-Driven Management0 The tools and resources falling under the “professional development” umbrella are overwhelming and chaotic0 You need a purpose-driven management plan to stay sane. Consider: 0 What is (are) your goal(s)? 0 How much time do you have? 0 What is realistic for you? 0 How do you prefer to receive information?
  27. 27. Management (Organizational) ToolsTake advantage of tools specifically designed to help you manage all of these bits and pieces of your professional development planUsing these management tools, combined with a specific purpose (learn a new skill, stay up to date on a particular issue, take a self-paced class), can help you succeed in accomplishing your professional development goal
  28. 28. RSS Send blog posts, and other new items from dynamic sites to your email0 Use Feed Readers 0 Google Reader: 0 Bloglines: 0 FeedReader:
  29. 29. Social networking managersUse one, single tool to manage multiple socialnetworking accounts. You can both consume andpush out information with these managers!0 HootSuite: TweetDeck: SocialOomph:
  30. 30. HootSuite (example) The different accounts I manageOur All of thestream accounts that “VT Libraries” follows: •ALA accounts •Database accounts •Organizational accounts
  31. 31. Website ManagementCreating a personal homepage that houses your RSSreader, social networking sites, and other pages thatyou may visit frequently can make current awarenessmuch easier0 iGoogle: http://igoogle.com0 Symbaloo:
  32. 32. Task Management & OrganizationUse these tools to plan, organize, and strategize yourprofessional development and the resources that youuse to do so!0 EverNote: http://www.evernote.com0 Toodledoo: Remember the Milk:
  33. 33. Don’t be a freeloader0 Chances are, you are an expert on some topic0 How can you share your knowledge in a way that might help develop others professionally? 0 Write, or co-write a blog or other type of publication 0 Create or contribute to a Delicious, Twitter, or Facebook account 0 Facilitate a reading group or series of sessions 0 Write and distribute an internal “newsletter”on relevant issues or topics 0 Create a collaborative site on Ning or with wiki software for sharing ideas
  34. 34. Discussion0 So, what’s your advice?0 How do you manage your professional development? What online tools do you use that you’d like to share?And now, your ideas:0
  35. 35. Questions?Thank you!Rebecca K.