Professional Development Pt. 2

First, some good news. Very soon I will begin writing about libraries and technology for Informed Librarian. This will be a fun if not a crazy adventure. I will not be giving up this blog, so that means MORE TINKERING. : )

Today’s topic is professional development, an expansion of Dee’s post from last year. Professional development is a mix of learning to improve the skills you have now and developing the skills to use later. With the former, the best way to find great tools is to leverage your network. What are they using to learn? What tricks do they know that you do not? What experiences did your colleagues lean on to be the skilled professionals they are today? Libraries and library positions vary so greatly, the answers will vary person to person.

For the future, it is best to use some learner-centric pedagogy. It may be strange to shift perspective and think of yourself as the student. However, if you want to motivate yourself to learn more, you need to think about what it is you are interested in. Not everyone dreamed up Makerspaces in libraries, but a few crafty librarians dared to. Now they are spreading as far as budgets will allow. Identify the sorts of things that fascinate you, and then plan your skill building around them.

It should be no surprise where my interests lie. Ever since library school I’ve taken advantage of every chance to bring my passion together with my profession. Do not be afraid to be creative. Here are some non-library specific places you might find to learn that new skill you can bring to work.

Law/Government

Marketing

Business

MIT Courses

Technology

Craft Classes

Languages (Or here, or practice with a podcast)

A few last notes. Varying your training helps you learn faster. Also, never forget TedTalks. There are thousands of them, and one is bound to spark your curiosity.

-Cas

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