Most librarians (and indeed, most professionals) think of networking as a personal, face-to-face activity. Most also look forward to meeting their fellow librarians and to making new friends, all while learning together about new ideas and trends in the library field. The challenge for solo librarians is that they often cannot leave their libraries to attend live conferences and meetings.
Solo librarians are simply indispensable as far as their patrons are concerned. (A good problem to have, right?) Even if travel to offsite events is possible, the stress of wondering what’s falling by the wayside back at the library can be so distracting that enjoyment and learning suffer. However, technology can provide a convenient alternative—with options such as webinars, online conferences, and online continuing education courses. Who better to ferret out these great opportunities than a librarian?
What and where are the options?
Professional associations often sponsor online educational and networking events, but it is also becoming more common for vendors to do so, resulting in a sort of “virtuous cycle” where clients and potential clients benefit from (often free) professional development resources, and vendors ultimately benefit from having better-informed clients.
Here’s one idea for solo librarians: network and learn online with your counterparts, at your own pace and on your own time, by registering for Lucidea’s month-long Small Library Management course, beginning on Monday, July 17, 2017. Please visit the registration page for more details.
Larry Cooperman has worked as a solo and small library manager and director for the past ten years, primarily in academic libraries, public libraries, and school libraries. Larry's latest book is Managing the One-Person Library.