Time, Staff, and Money. As I travel the state talking to librarians both public and school based I hear the same three things: I don't have the time; I can't get coverage; I don't have any money in the budget, over and over. So the question is as librarians were knowledge and education are kinda our thing do we not prioritize the need for professional development?
I'm very lucky in my current position that I have a small budget available to me to take online courses, attended conferences, and improve my skill set as a librarian. Funny thing is I usually don't use it. It's not because I don't want to. Someday I will get my boss to pay for that SXSWedu ticket but not this year. We are a close group at my library and I am the new kids others have been waiting for their dream conferences longer than I so they can go first. Honestly, most of my PD I get for free.
The internet is FULL of quality, vetted professional development from full blown classes from the biggest and brightest colleges and universities, government resources like NASA or the EPA, and YouTube. Ahhhhh YouTube once the red headed stepchild on the block but since it's purchase by Google it's become an educational powerhouse.
Now many of you are thinking "but i'm a librarian, none of that helps me with my job" enter your state libraries. Most state libraries have CE (Continuing Education) positions and offer free or VERY low cost options for professional development all online. Just look at the Maine State Library's CE calendar.
Two more great resources to find PD are Facebook and Twitter. I know the echo chamber yada yada however, some of my best PD recommendations were recommended to me from a twitter #Edchat or Facebook group. If you follow the right people just reading their posts makes you feel smarter.
Finally, don't blow off your little state conference either. Have your director, or board, or trustees understand that this is important to your profession and your continued education within their library. ALA wrote an entire article in their newsletter back in 2012 about online professional opportunities so make it a priority. It's worth it both for your continued growth as a librarian and the growth of the profession.
- 60 YouTube Channels that will Make you Smarter
- Crash Course - started by the Green brothers, presented humanities and science courses although the series has since expanded to incorporate courses by additional hosts.
- MinutePhysics - The channel's videos include time-lapsed drawing to explain physics-related topics in approximately one minute.
- Veritasium - With more than 120 videos to its name, Veritasium -- derived from "veritas," the Latin for "truth" -- has received popular and critical acclaim. The mind-bending "Slinky Physics" video is perhaps the most popular, drawing more than 1 million views and mainstream media coverage from a number of different outlets.
- Vsauce - Since debuting in 2010, VSauce has gained more than a million followers. Creator and host Michael Stevens fields seemingly rhetorical questions -- like "What if everyone jumped at once?" or the above "What if the Sun disappeared?" -- and answers them with wonder and thought-provoking detail.
Bibblio.org. "60 YouTube channels that will make you smarter – The Graph." Medium. The Graph, 11 Sept. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"Crash Course (YouTube)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Mar. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"Library Worklife:." Online Workshops a Growing Opportunity for Professional Development – Library Worklife:. N.p., Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"MinutePhysics." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
Vsauce. "Vsauce." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.
"Veritasium." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Mar. 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.