by Angela Piccola, Senior Editor
New Year of Professional Development: 7 Great Sites to Use
Each year we have new opportunities to improve and grow as information professionals. Free resources to engage and further our knowledge skillsets are available in several different online formats. There are some set to the standard classroom and module setups, while other programs share information through videos or webinars. Some of these programs offer certificates for completion and further advance the proficiencies of professionals with little to no cost.
These sites in particular are some favorites of mine that provide great content while being readily available that is relevant content. Each site has an upcoming schedule to track and register to get reminders sent to your email. Most of them archive the webinar after the live session making it very accessible to reference later on.
School Library Journal – Webinars
School Library Journal offers free webinars ranging from eBook integration to annual lists on books for specific demographics. They also have many resources for summer reading and engaging readers.
EdWeb has several topics that are beneficial for public and elementary librarians. They offer certificates upon completion of the video or a short quiz to test competency over the topic.
Texas State Library – Free CE and Training
Texas State Library offers a full schedule that is sometimes specific for Texas libraries, but there are other programs in mobile applications and preparations for holiday programming.
Washington State – First Tuesdays
This is a partnership between the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Each Tuesday they give subject matter experts an opportunity to expand opportunities within libraries.
Booklist like School Library Journal provides several webinars on engaging readers and general library development. They also have forecasts for trending topics in children and young adult fiction.
OCLC offers project management and programming ideas. They also broach more trending topics such as crowdsourcing and building a social media platform. They provide certificates upon completion of a module.
TED videos that inspire readers and educators on diverse topics of knowledge. A collection on topics specifically about libraries can be found here: TED Library. TED as a forum for speakers and listeners provide a robust catalog of different topics.
New ideas from a variety of sources equip us with the ability to adapt to a changing environment. These webinars are some of the best ways to keep in touch with what is up and coming in the field. They save time and travel costs by providing the experience of being there in person while in convenience of accessing them remotely. Unlike conferences, there is also a pause button and archive services so that content will always be available and can be resumed later on.
Finding innovative ways to interact with other professionals in the field creates an ever expanding growth of possibilities. No longer are we trapped in between conferences and planning time off. We can just login, absorb, and implement the ideas of others so they impact our environments in a positive way.