Making a top-level commitment to support ongoing continuing education for staff
and library trustees is the key to long range improvement and growth for
the library. As you will see below, there is no shortage of quality continuing
education opportunities for Illinois libraries. Indeed, there is such a
variety of topics and methods of delivery that the main task is selecting
the best and most relevant opportunities from the many that are available.
the first step is to make continuing education a high priority and to allocate
the budget dollars necessary for library staff and trustees to keep
abreast of new ideas that can help the library provide excellent services
to your community.
This article will focus on continuing education offerings beyond those offered by Lincoln Trail Libraries System. LTLS offers a full calendar of continuing education workshops and training programs each year, and these are described in a separate
article this month.
Beyond LTLS, there is a wealth of opportunities from a variety of sources for almost every audience and need. These programs include traditional workshop events as well as online events such as webinars.
WebJunction is a cooperative online portal for information about libraries designed
to help library staff share and use online resources to improve library services.
Operated by OCLC and funded by grants from OCLC, IMLS and the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, WebJunction offers users a rich collection of practical articles
and resources including access to online courses for continuing education. The
WebJunction Course Catalog includes dozens of online courses for library staff
and trustees. Click “Register” to create a free account and sign up for courses under the “Learning Center” tab
on the home page.
LibraryU is a free web-based training site for Illinois librarians and their
patrons, supported cooperatively by the Illinois Library Systems and the Illinois
State Library with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Over 50 self-paced courses are available in categories including Administrative
Skills, Cataloging, Customer Service, Marketing, Public Library Trustees, Youth
Services, and others.
Illinois Library Systems
Each of the 9 multitype library systems in the state offers a diverse annual
calendar of continuing education workshops, online classes and training programs.
Information on system CE programs is available on each system's web site. A
listing of system web site addresses is locate at http://www.ilsdo.org/ab_contacts.html.
IOUG – Illinois OCLC Users Group
The Illinois OCLC Users' Group promotes the use of the OCLC database and related
ILLINET/OCLC services for libraries and educational institutions for educational,
literacy, scientific, and research purposes. IOUG provides training and continuing
education programs and facilitates the participation of Illinois users of OCLC
in planning and implementing programs connected with OCLC in Illinois. Information
on IOUG workshops and training with links to online registration for most events
is located at http://www.ioug.info/training.html.
Illinois Library Association Annual Conference
The Illinois Library Association Annual Conference is an excellent opportunity
for continuing education. The conference program features state and national
speakers as well as an extensive exhibit hall where participants can visit with
vendors of library products and services. The 2007 ILA Annual Conference will
be held in Springfield from October 9-12, 2007. Visit the ILA website at http://www.ila.org/events/index.htm for further information.
College of DuPage Press Library Learning Network
The College of DuPage Press offers a range of popular web-based teleconferences
for library staff on a wide variety of topics.
The SirsiDynix Institute is an ongoing forum for professional development in
the library community. The Institute provides free access to industry-leading
speakers and events, and supports librarianship and advances the work of librarians
around the world.
Click “Upcoming Events” for a schedule of future Institute topics. Upcoming topics in the next few months include ‘Hopping in to Library 2.0”, “Mashups: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That”, “Gaming in the Library”, and “The Info Island Project on Second Life”.