Monday, 18 June 2012

Professional development 2.0 for librarians: developing an online personal learning network (PLN)

an article by Nicole A. Cooke (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA) published in Library Hi Tech News Volume 29 Issue 3 (2012)


The field of librarianship is ever expanding and changing, from exploding internet and media technologies, to ever diverse patron groups with increasingly complex information needs. Library professionals need to be as savvy as the clients they serve, and the most productive and effective way for librarians to keep up with these changes is to seek out professional development opportunities.
Librarians owe it to their clients and to themselves as competent professionals, to remain abreast of trends and developments in the field. The purpose of this paper is to address the changing landscape of the library profession, including the changing nature of library and information science education, and to exemplify the importance and necessity of continuing professional development for librarians, the newest manifestation of which is online professional development through Web 2.0 tools and social media technologies.
Specifically, using such technologies enables library professionals to develop an online personal learning network (PLN).
PLNs are beneficial because they are so customizable to an individual’s work and research interests and time constraints, and they facilitate global learning and collaboration opportunities that may not otherwise be feasible. In times of financial difficulty, more traditional professional development opportunities requiring travel and funding are often prohibitive; PLNs enable continuous and affordable professional development opportunities that will benefit librarians and their institutions.
The paper discusses the newest technologies and opportunities and how their attendant considerations and concerns apply to library professions; also the best ways in which to deliver content and instruct future library professionals.

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