An opportunity to learn about different areas of librarianship from different perspectives

Moon Kim, Acquisitions Librarian with Ohio State University, shares her experiences of the IFLA CPDWL Satellite Meeting 2019

Photo: Moon Kim speaking in the Academic Libraries track at the conference, with Ray Pun

The 2019 IFLA Satellite Meeting for Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) kicked off on August 20th at the National and University Library, Zagreb, Croatia. Under the theme of “Librarians and information professionals as (pro)motors of change,” a group of international colleagues met to exchange ideas and best practices as we paced through the posters to the tune of local music that permeated the room full of Glagolitic script in the main entryway. The tour of the Library revealed it to be the oldest in Croatia and the Library itself has changed its site and name over the years, continuously transforming itself to the needs and demands of its constituents. Holding one of the most prominent collections in Croatia, the Library proved to be a formidable host to topics ranging from professional development to linked data.

The second day of the conference consisted of the panels and presentations. Although it was not possible to attend all the excellent sessions on professional development, CPDWL had a number of sessions on how the various library professional groups approached mentoring and professional development. The importance of mentoring volunteers, students and interns in its numerous forms (e.g., formal, informal, peer mentoring) was emphasized in Croatian libraries, the Italian libraries association determined the usefulness of MOOCs as an effective and low-cost training tool, and a SWOT analysis was used to assess the current state of a Slovenian center’s learning activities. All of these sessions highlighted the value of continued development and learning for librarians and information professionals.

In addition to the professional development talks, the meeting in Zagreb was an opportunity to learn about different areas of librarianship from different perspectives. Coming from another continent with different laws and regulations, the topic regarding data protection and regulation was timely. Libraries have always been champions of patron’s data protection and the sentiment is heavily enacted in Europe, though implemented differently than in the United States. The linked data discussions on BIBFRAME and RDA furthered the conversations on the role of librarians in not only stewarding data but transforming its structures to have meaningful impact on how our users experience information.

Even for a technical services librarian based on the collections side in the US, the programming at CPDWL hit every note in offering a wide variety of professional development panels and discussions geared toward engagement with the profession. It was wonderful to not only hear about the outreach efforts in LIS mentoring for individuals in various stages of their careers, but also about the data compliance protocols in Europe and the global efforts in shaping information infrastructures. The CPDWL meeting equipped me with the knowledge to expand my professional development opportunities and connected me with colleagues doing amazing work at the international level. Zagreb as a city was also a wonderful host for the delegation of international librarians to develop our own skills and to participate in the growth and development of our profession.

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