Library Links & Loves: Professional Development

For me, professional development is the most important aspect of my job. Not only do the students benefit when I learn something new, but then I can share it with my co-workers and begin to make a larger cultural change. One of the reasons I took the job here is because I saw so much potential in this library, and I felt as though there was an open and encouraging environment for professional development.

So without further delay, here’s a list of stuff that I check pretty regularly/do for my personal professional development. You’ll notice that some of these are more focused on my own job duties and interests, such as teaching and outreach, but I think it’s good to look at when you’re just getting into the profession:

Listservs I follow

  • Ili-l (ALA- Information Literacy Instruction Discussion List)
  • academicPR (ACRL- academic & research librarians sharing ideas and best practices in marketing/outreach)
  • iglmo (ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach interest group)
  • CULD (Texas Library Association group. As a member of TLA you should automatically be subscribed to the CULD [college & univ libraries division] list if you selected that as your main division)
  • LIRT (Texas Library Association group – Library Instruction Round Table list.)
  • sustainRT (ALA- Sustainability round table, Provides resources for the library community to support sustainability through curriculum development, collections, communication, etc.)

Blogs I ❤

  • A Library Writer’s Blog – This is mostly a blog that posts CFPs (calls for papers), conference information, calls for book chapter proposals, etc. I check this pretty regularly just to see if anything interests me. On the other listservs above, sometimes a call for writing comes out. I personally write a bunch so I am usually looking for something like that.
  • In the Library with the Lead Pipe – this is an EXCELLENT blog. It’s more of an online journal, but the pieces are very good and provocative. Check it out.
  • Library Babel Fish (Authored by Barbara Fister)- This blog is hosted on Inside Higher Ed and it’s a really great way to see what’s new in the field and also I like the way Barbara Fister thinks. I’m sort of a fangirl about her. Anyway, she’ll be speaking in Austin at the Texas Library Association annual conference and I get to introduce her – it will be a huge honor for me.
  • Library Loon
  • Librarian Wardrobe (for fun)

Professional associations/Organizations I’m part of

  • American Library Association, 2009 – Present
    • Library Instruction Round Table, 2009-Present
  • Association of College & Research Libraries, 2009-Present
    • TX State Representative,  Library Marketing & Outreach Interest Group 2014-Present
    • Texas Chapter Liaison chair, 2014-2015
    • Women’s Studies section
    • University Libraries section
  • Texas Library Association (District 2), 2012-Present
    • College & University Libraries Division, 2012-Present
      • Chair, 2014-2015
      • Programming committee chair, 2013
    • Scholarship & Research Committee, 2013-Present (3yr appointment)
    • Library Instruction Round Table, 2012-Present
    • Reference Round Table, 2012-Present

Facebook groups I follow

  • LMAO (Library Marketing & Outreach) – here’s a space where people share events, activities, and marketing strategies that they’re doing at their library. Lots of the library world is show-and-tell, and sometimes that’s a good way to pick up on stuff that you don’t encounter in library school.
  • ALATT (ALA Think Tank – which isn’t actually a part of ALA, but it’s a bunch of librarians who share stories about what’s going on in their library and also to vent about problem patrons.) I mostly just watch and giggle.

People on twitter that I highly recommend

Workshops you might find interesting

  • Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians – I graduated from this institute July 2013 and I loved every minute of it. I was surrounded by the most amazing librarians and Harvard faculty and I learned a ton. It’s a really good workshop if you really want to hone in on your leadership skills – I did it because I accepted appointment as Chair of the College & University Libraries Division of TLA.
  • ACRL Immersion Programs – good for instruction librarians, so maybe not specifically for your interests, but there might be more programs for what you like.
  • ACRL continuing ed – some of these are good and there’s quite a bit of diversity in their programs. I will say, though, that they can get pricey.

I’m also always looking at different conferences that interest me and then submitting to see if I get accepted. It’s kind of thrilling. I have spoken at a few conferences and I was recently invited to speak at the Tennessee Electronic Library conference – I’ve finally attained INVITED SPEAKER STATUS. w00t! What are some of your go-to professional development resources?

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