Category Archives: CPD Guidelines

Translators wanted!












Our new poster promoting the IFLA Guidelines for CPD in the digital environment was proudly launched at the WLIC in Dublin (see the earlier blog post, 27 August 2022). We are now calling for LIS colleagues across the world to translate the poster into their own language(s).

The goal is to ensure that the important messages about the imperative for CPD for everyone working in library and information services is shared, with emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders when professional learning moves online.

We hope that all national and regional library associations will support the translation of the poster for their members. If you would like to get involved in the translation work (it’s only a couple of hundred words!), please contact Gill Hallam (gillian.hallam1[at] to request a copy of the poster template file.

We are looking forward to hearing from you very soon!

IFLA Guidelines for CPD: the imperative for high-quality online learning!

At the WLIC 2022 held in Dublin, CPDWL launched a new poster about the IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development: Principles and Best PracticesWhen the Guidelines for CPD were released in 2016, the authors, Jana Varlejs, Vivian Lewis, Susan Schnuer and Juanita Jara de Sumar, highlighted the importance of considering additional quality concerns relating to professional learning and development activities delivered in the online environment. These concerns became a stark reality when the COVID pandemic arrived in 2020. Across the globe, face-to-face CPD events could not longer be held, so they were either cancelled or they moved online.

The CPDWL Standing Committee was already planning to review and adapt the Guidelines for CPD for digital learning contexts. A small working group was given the challenge of undertaking the requisite research to identify and collate relevant resources that discussed the principles and best practices of virtual learning in the context of CPD, focusing on quality assurance standards and the cultural and linguistic differences in different regions of the world. To date, over 100 resources have been reviewed.

As part of the online WLIC in August 2021, CPDWL hosted a panel discussion entitled NOW – NEW – NEXT: Seizing the opportunities to redefine and reimagine professional development through online learning. There were five speakers who represented the different stakeholder groups outlined in the Guidelines document: Dr Matilde Fontanin for the Learners, Dr Alan Brine for the Employers, Associate Professor Naoki Matsumoto for Professional Associations, Professor Sandy Hirsh for LIS Educators, and Tony Zanders for LIS Training Providers. The panel members were invited to share their views about the value of the Guidelines for CPD in today’s world, and their perspectives about good practice for CPD in an online world. The main outcome from the panel discussion was that the Standing Committee’s ideas about updating the Guidelines was affirmed – but it was indeed “a really big job”.

Although the working group is still drafting the supplementary materials for the revisions to the Guidelines, the WLIC in Dublin provided the opportunity to develop a poster to present the key ideas. The notion of a poster was already very popular: the original Guidelines poster has already been translated into 36 languages.  Ivana Todorovic, one of the Standing Committee members who lives and works in Serbia, offered to be the creative mind to develop the poster, supported by Alan Brine and Gill Hallam It was an iterative process, but the final poster that was presented in Dublin by Alan Brine and other members of the Standing Committee, is eye catching, with an interesting, contemporary design and a clearly structured message.


The poster seeks to inspire library and information professionals globally to improve practice, adopt new technologies and adapt to a changing world. It is argued that CPD is a key element for the five stakeholder groups involved in learning and development. While the principles and best practices examined in the Guidelines remain valid, it is critical that LIS professionals promote high-quality digital learning environments by focusing on the introduction of more innovative content which is underpinned by open educational resources, and stimulating interactive and engaging learning experiences for all participants.

The principles for high quality online learning indicate that:

Learners should:

  • Ensure that they have good, reliable Internet connectivity
  • Plan their time and stay organised to ensure that they are committed to their online learning journey
  • Participate actively by engaging and collaborating with other learners.

Employers should:

  • Understand the value of high-quality learning activities for organisational outcomes
  • Encourage staff to value online professional learning as an intrinsic part of their career
  • Ensure that staff are given the time to schedule, attend and reflect on online CPD activities.

Library and information associations should:

  • Demonstrate leadership in establishing best practices for online CPD events
  • Provide a digital platform for members to record and present evidence of their online learning outcomes
  • Develop policies to recognise or accredit providers of high-quality online CPD activities.

Library and information educators should:

  • Develop digitally literate graduates who recognise the potential affordances of online professional learning
  • Model best practice in the design, delivery and management of their online courses
  • Invest themselves as online learners to keep up with developments in theory and practice.

Training providers should:

  • Make innovative, flexible and independent learning a priority
  • Ensure online learning strategies are accessible and inclusive for all learners
  • Create a social online environment to foster a vibrant learning community.

The new poster is being added to CPDWL’s publications in the IFLA repository and a template will be available so that it can be translated into many other languages. Can we beat the 36 languages achieved with the first poster?

If you would like to translate the poster to ensure that CPD in the digital learning environment is acknowledged as a critical enabler for a strong, agile and resilient LIS profession, please contact Gill Hallam (gillian [dot] hallam1 [at] bigpond [dot] com).

We are looking forward to hearing from you!


Did librarians in Ancient Rome know about the importance of continuing professional development? Maybe yes, maybe no – but the IFLA Guidelines for CPD poster is now available in Latin!

History tells us that one of the first libraries in Rome resulted from the looting of collections of classical Greek literature. After the conquest of Macedonia in 168 BC, the Roman general Aemilius Paullus removed volumes of text from the royal palace to establish a library for his sons in Rome (Affleck, 2012). This led to a growing interest amongst Roman nobles in the study of Greek philosophy and literature; some years later Lucius Cornelius Sulla seized the library of Apellicon of Teos in Athens and transported the collection back to Rome.

Around 44 BC Julius Caesar chose Marcus Terentius Varro to develop his vision for a ‘public library’. Varro’s qualifications included being the only known person in the Roman era to write a ‘library manual’, De Bibliothecis. This text has sadly not survived and poor Caesar died before the construction of his library began.

One of the more important owners of a private library was Cicero: it is recorded that he had libraries in his city residence, as well as in many of his country villas. While Cicero apparently employed trained ‘library-slaves’ (librarioli) to manage and maintain his libraries, there is documentary evidence to show that by the end of Roman Republic in 27 BC, the sophistication of Roman libraries had led to need for a diversified staff of library professionals.


Image: History Collection

Of course, we actually know very little about the education and training of these library professionals in Ancient Rome. Did they know about the importance of continuing professional development and workplace learning? Maybe yes, maybe no – but had IFLA been around in those days, the librarians would undoubtedly have benefitted from the poster on the IFLA Guidelines for CPD: Principles and Best Practices, now available in LATIN!










Our warmest thanks go to Brittany Garcia for her work on the translation of the poster!

If you visit the CPDWL website, you will see that the IFLA Guidelines for CPD poster is already available in 36 languages, but there is room for more! If you would like to translate the poster into your own language, please contact Gill Hallam for a copy of the template (email: gillian.hallam1(at)



Affleck, M. (2012). Roman libraries during the Late Republic and Early Empire: with special reference to the library of Pliny the Elder. PhD thesis. University of Queensland.




Working Meeting to discuss how to best adapt and implement the IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development in the Russian libraries by Daria Beliakova,

On November 19, 2019 the Library for Foreign Literature, Moscow held a Working Meeting to highlight the IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development and to discuss how to best adapt and implement these Guidelines in the Russian libraries. See also our post from 18.12.2019. The event organizers have analyzed the outcomes of discussion in groups and presentations and prepared the final document laying out recommendations. We call your attention to the full version of the final document, being widely disseminated via professional press and social media. Based on this document, the Russian libraries will continue to build a system of continuing professional development and workplace learning.

The document is attached from 19.11.2019. CPDWL Guidelines in the Russian libraries_Final document

Library for Foreign Literature and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Centre in Eastern Europe (IFLA PAC) by Daria Beliakova

Library for Foreign Literature and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Centre in Eastern Europe (IFLA PAC) have launched another international exchange programme for preservation specialists. This year, the focus was on the professional experience of Bavarian libraries and museums.

Training programme «Cultural heritage as a basis for intercultural dialogue. Preservation Strategies in Russia and Germany» was held from 20 to 26 October. It included lectures, visits to restoration workshops, visits to the collections and exhibitions of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration of the Bavarian State Library, the Restoration Centre of the Bavarian Palace Administration and the Schaezlerpalais.

The program involved participation of restoration specialists from: Library for Foreign Literature, Sverdlovsk Regional Library named after V.G. Belinsky (Ekaterinburg), Library of the Ibero-American Institute of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Berlin), Regional Document Preservation Center of the Tomsk State University and Fundamental Research Archaeological Laboratory of Ural Federal University and the largest museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

German colleagues have been very generous in sharing their professional experience and specific techniques for the conservation of paper and leather bindings, photographs, graphics, applied arts and oil paintings.

The Bavarian State Library prepared the most intensive program: there was a detailed tour for the Russian colleagues with a presentation of the work of all departments of the library, including the Department of Eastern Europe and its new reading room.

Cooperation agreements within the Strategic Programme on reservation and Conservation were reached with the participation of German specialists in international scientific conferences organized by Library for Foreign Literature and the School of Restoration, which traditionally take place within the framework of the Russian Congress of the RBA by the International Cooperation Section.

The professional programme also included visits to local cultural heritage sites such as Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle and the charming village of Obermmergau, famous for its Luftmalerei -style decorated buildings. Those world-famous sights of Bavaria created a unique atmosphere during the training and left no one indifferent.

In 2020, Library for Foreign Literature and the IFLA Preservation and Conservation Centre for the CIS and Eastern Europe (IFLA PAC) plan to continue running international exchange programmes. Negotiations are currently underway with major foreign document conservation centres. Of particular interest as part of the Russian chairmanship of BRICS in 2020 are the countries of that group. A professional exchange visit to Brazilian preservation and conservation centres is being considered.  The National Library of Brazil is the member of/hosts IFLA Strategic Programme on Preservation and conservation for/in Latin American and the Caribbean is  the regional representative of the IFLA PAC Centre for several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Experts in cultural heritage preservation from Russia, CIS countries and Eastern Europe are welcome to participate in international exchange programmes and other events. Russian translation is available during professional visits.

Also in 2020, it is planned to hold the next special event – School of Restoration – within the framework of  All-Russian Library Congress of RBA in Petrozavodsk (17-21 May); Annual Interdisciplinary  Research-to-Practice Conference “Book Monuments in the aspect of preservation” (Library for Foreign Literature, October). Throughout the year, Center for Preservation and Conservation of Documents  conducts professional development programmes.

Contact information:

+7 (495) 915 01 65, [email protected] – for the participation in visiting training programmes and schools of restorer;

+7 (495) 915 78 85, [email protected] – for the participation in professional development programmes in the Center Preservation and Conservation of Documents of Library for Foreign Literature;

+7 (495) 915 36 96 [email protected] – for the participation in conferences and seminars of Center for Preservation and Conservation of Documents of Library for Foreign Literature.

Reflecting on IFLA CPD Guidelines as a Singapore librarian

IFLA Guidelines for Continuing Professional Development: Principles and Best Practices is an important document. It covers the breadth and scope of professional development.

I first came across this document at Session #158 at the IFLA WLIC 2018, and I wanted to share it with fellow librarians in my home country, Singapore. I wrote a two-part series because there was so much to discuss and examples I picked up along the way in my career.

  1. Continuing Professional Development: Minding Your Own Business
  2. Continuing Professional Development: Whose Business Is It?

I published these articles in the Singapore Libraries Bulletin. It started as a print newsletter back in 1990, and evolved into a blog in 2006. It is intended as a forum for the library community in Singapore to interact with each other.

I hope this can create more conversation and dialogue on professional development in your country, and generate more references back to the IFLA CPD Guidelines.


The CPDWL Coaching Initiative continues!

The CPDWL Coaching Initiative is moving forward. A webinar was offered in the end of May “Enhancing your strengths through coaching”. This free webinar explored the role of coaching and its value for developing library and information professionals for the future. Further information on the webinar is available at:

The next step is a session at the WLIC in Athens. A Drop in Coaching session is offered on Thursday August 29, 08:30 – 10:30 in Banqueting Hall. Session 251 in the WLIC programme.

The session offers career and professional development coaching for the individual and is an initiative from CPDWL in collaboration with the Management & Marketing section.

All WLIC delegates are welcome to join the coaching session.
The set up is a drop-in session where the participants can get coached in areas as Professional development and lifelong learning, Career planning, People management and leadership, Change management, Project management, Marketing as well as Work-life-balance.

The coaching will focus on one individual at a time. Each coaching interaction will last approximately 15-30 minutes. Please note that there can be a waiting time for a coach to be available. There will be a waiting area available in the room.

The focus of the coaching will be to help develop the individual’s career and professional development. The coach helps the individual to move from where one is to where one needs to go and wants to be. The coach will support the coached person to see ways and opportunities to move forward in his/her professional life. The focus will be on supporting the individual to lead herself/himself and for the individual to identify areas in need of development.
Societal trends are placing new demands on the library and information sector. To ensure that library professionals are prepared to adapt to these changes, it is imperative to be ‘learning organizations’ and continuously develop the staff. The IFLA Guidelines for CPD state: “The individual library and information professional is primarily responsible for pursuing ongoing learning that constantly improves knowledge and skills”.

The CPDWL section has during the last years been working with interactive and collaborative methods in order to increase the professional development and competence sharing in the work of the section as well as of IFLA. During former CPDWL satellite conferences, career and professional development coaching has been part of the program. At WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur a coaching pilot test was performed. This was very well received by the delegates, and we are now offering a new coaching possibility during the WLIC in Athens.

The members of the Coaching Initiative working group for the 2019 programme are Catharina Isberg, Almuth Gastinger, Ewa Stenberg and Ulrike Lang from the CPDWL section, and Anya Feltreuter and Cindy Hill from the Management & Marketing section.

/Catharina Isberg