Updated: Jan 18
How can someone who provides Continued Professional Development (CPD) be selfish and who am I talking about? You might be surprised to hear that I am actually talking about myself. My own personal journey with CPD led me to create an online CPD forum in January 2018 called #LibraryStaffLoveLearning when I announced on Twitter that my New Years resolution was to create an online non-fiction book club for school librarians.
It started on January 23rd 2018, which I subsequently wrote about here on Heart of the School blog, so why was it selfish? Primarily because I set it up to make me do more reading and critical evaluation for my own CPD. If I was responsible for others who would take part I actually had to do something about it. If you want to read more about this journey I wrote this blog post called 7 ideas to kickstart your CPD at the beginning of 2020.
My selfishness has brought learning and connections which I could never have imagined possible. As it grew and developed over the last few years we watched, listened and read many great TED talks, podcasts, articles and books that I would have otherwise skipped over in my attempt to learn. Through using my online forum to engage with this learning and with others, I have thought more deeply and learned so much more than I would ever have done if I had tried to do this on my own.
Why is it important?
Beyond this forum, my own personal learning has centred around the IFLA School Library Guidelines. Within this document, there is clear guidance on the importance of CPD for school librarians as it states "In an increasingly networked environment, school librarians must be competent in planning and teaching different information-handling skills to both teachers and students. Therefore they must continue their professional training and development" (p.61). It goes on to say "A school librarian should collaborate with other school librarians to extend and continue their professional development and learning". I hope through providing my website for collaborative learning I am helping school librarians to learn and develop together in a safe and friendly environment.
Where are we now?
January this year brought about a fantastic opportunity to learn from the authors of Focus on Inquiry, Prof. Dianne Oberg and Prof. Jennifer Branch-Mueller when they agreed to join a webinar with everyone who had joined in the previous 3 months discussions. Working with Darryl Toerien, creator of FOSIL (Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning) who had already made a connection with these two women I was delighted when they agreed to give us their valuable time to support our learning. Having engrossed ourselves in their publication for 3 months being able to spend some time listening to them talk and to ask questions really brought the learning to a new level. I am very grateful to Darryl, Dianne and Jennifer for giving us the opportunity to do this.
I will continue to offer monthly learning opportunities. Alongside the regular articles, podcasts and TED talks, I hope to bring you more exciting opportunities to bring you closer to those who have the same interests and to push you to think more deeply and more understanding of your role as a school librarian.
To find out what is coming next you just need to check on the #LibraryStaffLoveLearning page regularly to see what we are up to. You will, however, need to sign up to my website to comment on any discussion. I also have a couple of groups that you might want to join to be reminded what is coming up which can be found here. For more information about this forum check my FAQ.
I look forward to working and learning with you in the future.
If you are interested in other CPD that I offer please check it out here.