Congratulations, we have made it to 2018. In fact, I’m posting this on the last day of January, the year is flying by already. Last year was a huge year for me in my professional development (PD). I attended a conference for the first time, presented at a conference for the first time, I had the opportunity to work with our library’s institutional repository team, and I learned a bit more about research in practice. In my previous blog post I noted the importance of planning for professional development and I’ve set aside a few hours today for planning.

The biggest challenge I face with PD (besides the obvious, finding time to do it!) is that I am interested in many different things, archives/rare books and special collections, research, academic libraries, library carpentry and digital humanities just to name a few! So how do I choose?

Since I’m a member of ALIA, the first thing I did was sign up for a Data Specialization in the ALIA PD scheme. I think this would be a good way to focus my PD efforts and I can branch out into my different interest through the lens of ‘data’. If you are an ALIA member, signing up involves filling out a form and sending it to ALIA (which they were very quick to reply to).

I have been in the ALIA PD scheme for a number of years but found it difficult to get past the rules of how many points you were allowed to earn per activity type. They have a more simplified scheme and now one hour of activity equals one point, simple. I have also found for many of my PD activities, instead of recording a activity reflection in the ALIA PD tracker, I can post blog about what I learned from the activity and put the link to the blog in the PD tracker.  The process of written reflection will be vital to my PD this year, as it will reinforce what I have learned and give me something to look back on.

How the Data Specialization works is that there is a list of core competencies and I complete activities around those core competencies. These are further explained in the Data Specialization Skills Audit which gives some examples of resources that can be consulted. The scheme is designed over three years and there are ten competencies. I will be aiming to cover one core competency every 3-4 months. Even though I would have many of these competencies already, I feel that going through all ten will add to my knowledge and help me keep track of new trends.

To help me on my data journey, I will start on the resources from the Open Data Institute.

In addition I want to work my way through some Library Carpentry lessons, which include data related lessons.

I will also be looking at conference papers and journal articles over my lunch break and blogging about them, a series I’m calling ‘Lunch Time PD’. How this will work is over an hour lunch break I will spend 20 to 30 minutes reading an article and 20 to 30 minutes typing up a reflection on what I’ve learned from the article in my blog. I’m not doing this every day, one a week will be great food for thought!

Now I just have to put some time aside for PD in my calendar and I’m ready to go. For more on the ALIA PD scheme, check out this post.

So do you have a PD plan for this year?



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