Continuing Education

NCLA carries out its continuing education mission through the Biennial Conference; through workshops, programs and mini-conferences carried out by sections, round tables and committees; and through special initiatives such as the Leadership Institute.

 

The Need for Continuing Education

Michael J. Marquardt’s statement, “organizations must learn and adapt faster to changes in the environment or they simply will not survive”, is very relevant for libraries today.  Factors, such as technologies and changing expectations of customers, are transforming the role and services of the library. In order to address these changes and stay vital, it is imperative for library staff to be committed to continuing education.  ALA and its divisions have further insight on the importance of continuing education for library staff. 

The commitment will yield many benefits for both the individual and library including:

  • Library staff will remain engaged with the profession by keeping abreast of current trends and future forecast.
    The exchange of ideas, problems, and solutions will foster a supportive professional community. 
  • Library staff will maintain and enhance competencies. A well-trained workforce will be prepared to respond and adapt to the changing information environment.
  • Library staff will be prepared to provide relevant and best services to customers.  Being able to meet the demands of customers will ensure libraries flexibility and vitality.

 

Top Continuing Education Topics

According to the North Carolina State Library 2012 Continuing Education Survey, North Carolina library professionals have a strong interest in continuing education in technology trends and assessing community needs and interests.

 

Continuing Education Opportunities

Professional Organizations
Library professionals can gain a wealth of knowledge from participating in local and national organizations.

  • American Library Association (ALA)
    Education and lifelong learning is one of the key action areas of ALA. The association provides professional development and education of all library professionals.

     
  • Other Professional Associations
    There are a variety of professional organizations focused on specific areas in librarianship such as archives, technology, and medicine.

Conferences, Workshops, and Online Resources
Conferences, workshops, and seminars are still important avenues for the continuing education of library professionals. The following are a few good resources to stay connected in-person or online:

  • NCLA Sections and Roundtables Professional Events
    NCLA Sections and Roundtables offer events that support the continuing education of all members.
     
  • North Carolina State Library
    North Carolina State Library website has information on certifications, courses and other resources including a continuing education portal, The Train Station.
     
  • American Libraries – The Magazine of the American Library Association
    The Magazine of the American Library Association provides a list of conferences, workshops, webinars, and online courses happening nationally and internationally.
     
  • ALA Continuing Education Resources
    ALA has continuing education resources, such as Congresses on Professional Education, available online. 
     
  • Listservs
    Listservs continue to serve as a great way to stay abreast of current trends and topics in the field and learn of continuing education opportunities such as conferences, workshops, and webinars. 
     
  • Social Networking
    Social networking is the new frontier of information dissemination. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, blogs, and wikis have become a source for continuous up-to-date information for library professionals. Social networking keeps librarians on the pulse of industry news, innovations, ideas, best practices, and current trends. Additionally, these technologies can be used to create personal learning networks dedicated to valuable informal continuing education in 

Suggested Reading:

Blakiston, Rebecca. "Building Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities: Continual Learning In The New

Information Landscape." Journal Of Library Administration 51.7/8 (2011): 728-743. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

Flatley, Robert K., and Michael A. Weber. "Professional Development Opportunities For New

Academic Librarians." Journal Of Academic Librarianship 30.6 (2004): 488-492. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

Harrison, Rachel. "Unique Benefits Of Conference Attendance As A Method Of Professional

Development For LIS Professionals." Serials Librarian 59.3/4 (2010): 263-270. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.

Keiser, Barbie E. "Professional development and continuing education." Online, 36.3 (2012):

20-27.  General OneFile. Web. 8 Feb. 2013.

Lepi, Katie. “35 Ways To Build You Personal Learning Network Online”. Edudemic. February 10,

2012. http://edudemic.com/2012/10/35-ways-build-personal-learning-network-online/

Marquardt, M. J. Building the learning organization:Mastering the 5 elements

for corporate learning. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2002.

 

The Continuing Education Committee is a standing committee of NCLA.  Check back here for information about its activities.