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Thursday, November 9 • 12:45pm - 2:00pm
Professional Development in Libraries: One Size Does Not Fit All

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With the constantly changing landscape in 21st century libraries, it would seem that professional development should be more important than ever. However, research indicates that few libraries have formal professional development programs and there are mixed messages from library leaders regarding the necessity and importance of professional development. It is no secret that libraries always seem to be facing budget cuts, and funding professional development is often seen as a low priority, but what is the real cost to libraries that do not encourage and support professional development?

Professional development can mean different things to different people. To some, professional development means just giving employees money each year to be used for professional development. For others it means attending an ALA or other library-specific conference or participating in an external training or conference within or outside the realm of librarianship. It can also include participation in online offerings such as webinars, MOOCs, academic classes and/or in-person trainings and workshops focused on specific skill development such as leadership, supervision, or negotiation. Each example can be viewed as professional development yet there might be disagreement on the inherent value of these activities.

This facilitated session will share current research findings about how libraries define and view professional development but will mostly focus on discussions with attendees on these and other questions:

1. Who is responsible for professional development in libraries?
2. What is professional development mean to you?
3. How do we assess the quality of the programming?
4. Who should have access to professional development?
5. What can you do if professional development is not offered to you at your library?
6. Do librarians need to go outside the library to get professional development?


A. Kathy Bradshaw

Assistant University Librarian for Organizational Development, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
avatar for Patricia Sobczak

Patricia Sobczak

Business & Public Affairs Collections Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries

Thursday November 9, 2017 12:45pm - 2:00pm EST
Laurens Room, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401