We are delighted that our new book, envisioned two years ago, has just been published. Two years ago, I’m not sure any of the editors or contributors realized how important professional development (PD) would be in the lives of librarians. Sure, we need PD to help us navigate the tricky multimedia waters and the drumbeat of standards, but many of us are spread across multiple buildings or taking over responsibilities once fulfilled by parent volunteers, a second librarian, or a clerk.
How do we have impact in our buildings when it is impossible to see all of the kids? One powerful way is PD leadership. If you can’t teach every child about databases, but you could teach every teacher, and they could pass it on, then you have impact. There’s a huge difference between teaching 2000 students or 100 teachers. 100 teachers is doable; 2000 students may not be.
Whether you do what Judi Moreillon calls “job-embedded PD,” where you co-teach and co-learn alongside a classroom teacher; help a teacher one-on-one, which Debbie Abilock calls “concierge PD”; lead a PLC; present at a staff meeting; roll out a “23 Things”-type self-paced learning; or give webinars, being a PD leader is a way to shift your pivot point so that you can keep your signal strong when your contact time has been reduced.
We want to know what YOU are doing for PD. Here are some questions to get you thinking:
1. How do you use staff meetings to deliver PD? What do you talk about?
2. Do you present alone or in a team? How do you determine presentation partners?
3. How do you know if your PD work has been successful?
4. Do you do any extended PD learning across a semester or more? What does that look like? What is your role?
5. How do you document your efforts and successes?
6. What role does technology play, from a PD blog to emailed newsletters to webinars?
Thanks for thinking about this! This is the last request … so once I hear from you, it’s time to get writing! Thanks for helping me get some work out of the way before the students descend on campus again!