I fully understand that my MLIS is only the beginning of my learning. I actively seek out conferences, webinars, and other learning activities as a way to learn more about my field, serve my patrons better, and network with colleagues. Below is a list of some of my recent professional development activities.
Serving the Young Adult Population: It's Not Just About Video Games (November 4, 2010)
Although this topic is perhaps most pertinent to public libraries, I always make the point that academic libraries also serve young adults. Individuals who are in their late teens and early twenties often share some of the same interests as younger teens who are still in high school. This webinar focused on three main goals: attracting teens, empowering staff, and developing programs. I thought that the second goal was the freshest. It is often assumed that the teen librarian is entirely responsible for the teen constituency, but that simply isn't productive. If the teen librarian is the only staff member who stands up for teens and welcomes them, then young adult activity is going to remain dismally low at the library. This webinar was packed with great ideas for making the library a welcoming space for young adults.
Seeing Is Reading: An Inside Look at Graphic Novels (November 2, 2010)
As you can see from my two projects highlighted in the sidebar, I enjoy graphic novels. I attended this Booklist webinar to hear about new and upcoming releases in this popular area. I am definitely going to check out some of the titles from SLG Publishing as they seem really edgy and fresh and have been well-received by YALSA.
Love and Magic: Trends in Romance Fiction (September 8, 2010)
This webinar was presented by Booklist and covered the latest in the paranormal romance genre.
Advocacy for Libraries: In Our Own Interest (August 18, 2010) This webinar, hosted by SirsiDynix Institute, featured Stephen Abram discussing the issue of advocacy in libraries. He explained that advocacy involves interpersonally connecting with local leaders. I was especially energized by Abram's point that advocacy plans should center on getting attention rather than (just) money.His discussion of attention-grabbing images was also very unique.
RSS: Feed Me (August 11, 2010)This webinar, hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission covered the whys and hows of RSS Feeds. Although I was already familiar with most of the information covered, I think that this webinar could serve as a good template for how to conduct similar workshops in a public library.
Selecting and Recommending Inspirational Fiction (August 10, 2010)Inspirational fiction, especially the sub-genre of Amish fiction, is so hot right now that I jumped at the chance to attend this Booklist webinar. The representatives from various publishers did a very good job at communicating the basics of the genre and introducing me to the latest bestsellers.
ALA Annual 2010 (June 2010)I had an amazing time and left D.C. with my head absolutely spinning with new ideas after attending entirely too many sessions to list. "RUSA President's Program: For the Love of Reference" was incredibly inspiring, both because of the speakers and the palpable energy in the crowded room.
On the Front Lines: The Seventh Statewide Library Practitioner's Conference (March 2010)The session that had the most impact on me from this conferencewas Mary Wilkes Towner's (Urbana Free Library) "Readers' Advisory: staying current and confident in a world that publishes thousands of books a year." Towner presented so many amazing RA resources and her passion was incredibly infectious. The other sessions I attended were:
- "Caring for Our Customers" presented by Janice Sherman from the Morton Public Library
- "The Past's Present Future: Emerging Trends in Online Cultural Heritage" presented by Richard Urban of UIUC
- "We've Got the Goods: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum" by Kathryn Harris of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library