Category Archives: Professional Development Opportunity

An Interview with Elaina Norlin from ASERL

Getting ready for #WLIC2023? We are spotlighting professional development trainers and experts in librarianship to talk about their work. In this blog post, we interview Elaine Norlin, Professional Development DEI Coordinator for the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL).

Elaina Norlin is the Professional Development DEI Coordinator for the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. She is an accomplished teacher, technology and leadership development trainer, and writer with extensive leadership experience and a flair for public relations, organizational development, marketing and persuasion and communications. Author of three books, she has delivered over 100 workshops, training sessions, presentations, and institutes both nationally and internationally on marketing, web usability design, facilitation, strategic influence, and conflict management. Self-motivated and results oriented, she is well known for her ability to juggle many projects at once.

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Can you briefly tell us about your work and professional development interests?

Norlin: That’s an excellent question, my Professional Development role at the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) keeps me busy and constantly engaged in current trends. As part of my job, I actively seek captivating and enriching content across all cultural heritage spectrum, placing a distinct focus on amplifying diverse and marginalized perspectives. Presently, my primary interest lies in creating and hosting content concerning future and exciting trends within higher education. I am particularly immersed in exploring themes such as enrollment patterns and their convergence with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), projected budget allocations and potential inequities, talent management and employee engagement strategies, educational neuroscience advancements, and the realm of extended reality.

What do you think are the challenges in engaging library staff in professional development activities

Norlin: The majority of librarians I engage with are grappling either with burnout or the frustrations stemming from the pervasive “do more with less” scarcity mindset that occasionally afflicts our profession. This persistent frustration of being unable to match the demands of the workload often leads individuals not have both the time and the energy required for their professional growth. Moreover, the strain of a demanding work environment complicates the task of maintaining a harmonious workplace atmosphere and a well-adjusted work-life balance, posing considerable challenges to prioritizing ongoing professional development.

Another distinct trend I’ve observed is the undeniable prevalence of virtual fatigue. As a consequence of most work interactions transpiring within the virtual space, many individuals encounter difficulties when attempting to engage in online learning, especially as there are an endless number of distractions.  Recent post-pandemic research reveals that the online attention span for passive learning is approximately seven seconds—a remarkably brief span. This condensed attention span underscores the essentiality of incorporating more interactive learning methodologies to captivate individuals’ attention and facilitate the absorption of information.

What are some trends or areas in the LIS field for you? 

Norlin: This year, the most requested professional development is artificial intelligence, burnout mitigation within the workplace, data science advancements, neurodiversity integration, and the formulation of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies within the backdrop of political backlash. One recent standout was a higher education webinar focused on extended reality—an intriguing topic that resonates with the ever-evolving world of online learning. The discussion centered on the pivotal role of active engagement in inspiring the next generation of students.

Another burgeoning area of concern centers around marketing and advocacy strategies, particularly pertinent in light of the prevailing challenges like book bans, threats, and terminations stemming from the current political climate. While marketing and advocacy have always held importance in the domain of librarianship, the current environment requires an enhanced focus on crisis communication and strategic approaches to swiftly address unforeseen challenges. The need for agile problem-solving has become more evident, as librarians grapple with unexpected scenarios requiring quick but persuasive responses to combat current and future attacks on intellectual freedom.

What resources or opportunities would you like to share to highlight the professional development activities for the LIS community?

Norlin: My advice to librarians is to stay well-versed in the realm of library literature, but concurrently read and watch content that is outside our profession. It’s all too simple to become inward-focused and engrossed solely in resolving immediate library related issues and crises. But with today’s ever changing higher education landscape, it’s very beneficial to allocate time to observe prospective and future trends.

For example, ongoing research consistently shows the fluctuations in higher education enrollment across institutions, with an overall trend of decline in overall numbers. While elite institutions seem to be maintaining a favorable financial outlook, many regional colleges, whether public or private, have grappled with meeting their enrollment targets in recent years. As highlighted by Inside Higher Ed, the pandemic impacted transfer and international enrollment, and this is the second year in terms of the decline.  On the other hand, smaller colleges that have refocused their strategy providing more positive student experiences and incorporating innovative and creative learning models are witnessing modest growth in enrollment. As we look more about what’s going on, librarians can become more proactive in terms of reactive when it comes to pivoting and realigning our strategic focus.

Anything else you’d like to share that we didn’t get to talk about?

Norlin: Present Employee Engagement research serves as a clear reminder that a growing number of individuals are becoming disengaged or are quietly stepping back from their responsibilities due to burnout and toxic work environments. In a recent study by the Workforce Institute at UKG, 74% of employees shared that they feel more engaged and happier when they believe their voices matter at their workplaces. However, most employees feel undervalued, leading to a significant increase in the number of people disengaging from their work, which now accounts for over 69% of the workforce.

So, my advice that I tell library organizations who want to actively work on morale is to observe workplace trends, but also to consistently seek solutions that can truly transform the work environment. There are actionable steps we can take to improve our work settings. The first step involves looking beyond our own profession to identify what’s effective elsewhere and how we can apply those practices. This empowerment leads to a workforce that feels confident in making decisions that positively influence their work, thus setting in motion a positive cycle of engagement and innovation.

Supporting new leaders globally through coaching

Again in 2023 CPDWL and M&M sections are very happy to provide

in person coaching for at least 30 minutes with experienced coaches at the

WLIC in Rotterdam on Wednesday August 23, 10.00 – 11.30 in room  Rotterdam A.

If you are interested to be coached, it is a walk-in session for all registered delegates and we’ll offer the coaching in different languages. Hosts will guide you to the appropriate coach.

If you are interested to serve as a coach, please fill in the form

For further information please feel free to contact us.

Hope to meet you in Rotterdam!

Ulrike Lang

Convenor of the IFLA Coaching Initiative

[email protected]



Presenting the e-book “Beyond Virtual and Hybrid Programs: How Libraries Recreated a Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by The REFORMA Northeast Chapter Leadership Institute

By Loida Garcia-Febo, CPDWL Advisor, International Library Consultant

The COVID-19 Pandemic ushered in new ways of providing library services. Libraries around the world continue to innovate to serve communities deeply impacted by the pandemic. On this blog post, I am sharing information about a new e-book featuring eleven of these new services hoping it is useful to many libraries worldwide. The e-book was developed by the Northeast Chapter of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.

The REFORMA Northeast Chapter Leadership Institute announced the publication of the eBook “Beyond Virtual and Hybrid Programs: How Libraries Recreated a Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic” edited by Adriana Blancarte-Hayward, Manuel Figueroa and Fred Gitner, with original cover art designed by Ariana Rivera Goldberg. The RNE Leadership Institute is Chaired by Mary Marques.

“Librarians around the world were challenged during the hard months of the pandemic on how to provide library services and resources to patrons of all ages. We had to experiment, create, and adapt! We navigated from in-person and face-to-face meetings to the anonymity of the virtual world. We put in practice our creativity and delivered services to our community.”

“Beyond Virtual and Hybrid Programs” includes eleven programs created during the global health emergency of the pandemic:

  • Smoking Ballerinas and Red-Hot Bolsheviks: Making the Artwork of Frances Lichten
  • Accessible Prof Talks
  • YA Comics Chat
  • The Class
  • Virtual Tech Tuesdays
  • Santa Rosa Zine Fest
  • Queens Memory COVID-19 Project
  • Write Now! A Writer’s Collective
  • Library and Student Support Services Virtual Summer Bridge Program
  • We Need to Talk: Conversations About Racism for a More Resilient Las Vegas
  • Senior Art During the Pandemic by Evelyn Ray

This project was developed by the REFORMA Northeast Chapter Leadership Institute with support from the REFORMA National Grant 2022.

To download the free PDF copy of this eBook and to access the webinar recording session of the eBook launch presentation, visit

Thank you on behalf of the REFORMA Northeast Chapter Leadership Institute Team!


REFORMA Northeast Chapter represents the following states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. The chapter advocates for the improvement of library and information services for Spanish speakers and people of Hispanic/Latino origin in the six-state area at the local, regional, and national levels.

REFORMA Established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), REFORMA has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; the establishment of a national information and support network among individuals who share our goals; the education of the U.S. Latino population in regards to the availability and types of library services; and lobbying efforts to preserve existing library resources centers serving the interest of Latinos.

International Library Dialogues as an Effective Tool of Professional Development and Exchange

On December 23, 2022, M. Rudomino All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature (LFL) and the Russian Library Association Section on International Cooperation (RLA SIC) held a round table devoted to the world libraries’ collaboration in the framework of the LFL project “International Library Dialogues”. More then 40 library specialists from 20 Russian regions took part in this hybrid event.

IFLA CPDWL SC member (2017-2021) and current Advisory Group member Svetlana GOROKHOVA moderated the meeting and delivered a presentation on the US-Russia Library Dialogue, CPDWL SC member Daria BELIAKOVA presented Rudomino Award for the best international library project and acted as a key discussant. IFLA SET Chair Albyna KRYMSKAYA moderated the hybrid brainstorm of the second part of the meeting.

The meeting was divided into two parts. During the first one the participants analyzed the work of two oldest and most elaborated dialogues – German-Russian Library Dialogue and US-Russia Library Dialogue, trying to single out characteristic features of the dialogue as a specific form of professional communication.

German-Russian Dialogue is primarily devoted to the issues of book collections looted during the World War II and goes back to the 1990-ies. During the years of its existence the Dialogue involved about 500 specialists from Germany and Russian regions, aiming at collecting data on looted collections and generating joint projects allowing to restore their original state in hybrid formats.

US-Russia Dialogue was launched in 2016 and since then developed into a dynamic professional space producing new forms of communication centered around the issues of libraries working with their communities. 5 meetings of the Dialogue took place in the USA, Russia and online, covering such burning issues as libraries supporting their communities during the pandemic and role of the libraries in the achieving the UN sustainable development goals. About 200 specialists from the USA and Russia took part in the work of the Dialogue enhancing competencies related to better understanding of the communities our libraries serve.

The second part was built as a brainstorm of offline and online participants in order to group the characteristic features, suggest ways of further development of the project including new types of dialogues and possible themes for discussion.

Based on the results of the discussion LFL Rudomino Academy and RLA SIC plan to develop a training course for CIS and Russian libraries on how to initiate, launch and realize Library Dialogues in their professional communities.

At the end of the meeting the second round of the Rudomino Award for the best international library project was presented to further stimulate the international activities of the Russian libraries.

Recording in Russian is available here: видеозапись круглого стола.

We would be glad to provide additional information if needed.

Written by Svetlana GOROKHOVA

Singapore Management University Libraries hosts ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme

Recently, Bryan Leow, Associate Librarian, Law from Singapore Management University Libraries (“SMU Libraries”) hosted participants in the ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme (“the Programme”) from other Singapore university libraries.

About the ‘A Day in the Life’ Programme

The Programme was developed in 2013 by an executive planning team comprised of representatives from Nanyang Technological University Libraries (“NTU Libraries”), National University of Singapore Libraries (“NUS Libraries”) and Singapore Management University Libraries (“SMU Libraries”). The draft terms of reference also note that the Programme was “a collaborative staff development programme for Singapore Universities library staff which promotes broad understanding of academic library environments, open sharing of good practices, and connecting with colleagues across libraries”.

To this end, the Programme aims to:

  • Provide opportunities for staff to have exposure to the operations and management of other academic libraries in a short, condensed, practical and simple way;
  • Provide networking opportunities for those staff so that they can keep in touch with each other for subsequent follow-up and collaboration; and
  • Provide opportunities for the staff of host organisations in gaining experience and confidence to plan and present about their own library to visitors, i.e., the programme will be delivered (as much as practicable) not by Heads of Departments/Divisions but by the staff working in those units.

The Programme’s intended audience are professional library staff (or equivalent), with a preference for staff with no prior experience working in an academic library; as well as those who have worked in a particular library for a long time and would benefit from being exposed to another academic library.

The Programme takes place twice a year. During each run, three nominated institutions act as ‘host’ institutions. Each host institution puts together their own programme that typically provides and overview of their library, core functions of the library highlighting services and functional departments and provide networking opportunities. Participants get to spend a full day at each host institution (3-day programme) and the Programme is open to one participant per academic institution (maximum of seven participants per run). Each participant is required to prepare a brief reflective report which is submitted to the executive planning team and annually submitted to the University Librarians of participating institutions. Some participants also share their experiences using various platforms such as staff meetings or writing.

Back on Track and in their Own Words

This year, following a hiatus of the Programme during the COVID pandemic, SMU Libraries, together with The Ngee Ann Kongsi Library, Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT Library) and NUS Libraries hosted the Programme in November 2022. As a recent hire, Bryan was nominated as the SMU Libraries participant. He also put together the SMU programme which involved presentations, sharing of best practices, demonstration of tools and applications used for work, tours, and an important Reflection segment at the end of the day, which was facilitated by Rajen Munoo, Head, Learning and Engagement.

Wearing his IFLA, Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (“CPDWL”) Section Member hat, Rajen asked participants to pen their thoughts to the following question: Why is it important to have continuing professional development activities?

Below are some of their thoughts in their own words:

Participant 1: “It is important to stay relevant as the world keeps changing…Important to exchange knowledge, be open to ideas, learn from the others”

Participant 2: “It is important for us to have professional development activities as they give us a chance to learn about what other institutions are working on, how we can collaborate, network and do better. It gives us an opportunity and open our mind and think creatively.”

Participant 3: “The library/academic scene is changing rapidly e.g., moving into electronic resources, more interdisciplinary learning. Development is needed to stay relevant and to keep up to date with the latest changes.”

Participant 4: “Share ideas with others. Share how challenges were resolved. Students and staff need continually changes, and so…library must keep up with the times.”

Participant 5: “No professional is an island. Like, research, the professional work also should be made open to grow and contribute to the society (library) as one.”

Participant 6: “Staying relevant is crucial as technology evolves – information is readily available in just one click. Professional development programmes allow us to connect with other librarians or experts where we can continue to learn.”

Participant 7: “Teaching and learning are always evolving, so is technology continually improving and adapting to the changes and in response to the needs of faculty and students. Hence, the library and librarians must always engage in exploring new avenues of thought, learning from one another so that all SG libraries are not left behind in this digital innovative age.”

Participant 8: “It is as simple as for personal self-development and remain relevant not just for the present state but also future. It allows us to collaborate and share greater knowledge with one another to deliver greater value to our stakeholders. A win win situation.”

Bryan too, noted that, “This Programme was very useful for me to better understand how other university libraries work, and to get a sense of the challenges they also face. I was also glad to get to know more people within the different universities, which would definitely come in handy for future collaborations between university libraries.”

From the reflections above, keywords such as change rapidly, sharing, collaboration, evolving, knowledge, staying relevant, digital innovation, how libraries work, keeping up with the times and more. Participant 5’s comment, is worth re-reading. As new professionals, it is important to start thinking about career paths and planning and having the relevant skills and competencies in hybrid working environments is essential as part of the digital transformation taking place in all libraries.

A Day in the Life Programme is an example of a CPDWL activity that has been a successful collaboration amongst university libraries in Singapore and is a simple model that can be adopted quickly by others.

Written by

  • Bryan Leow, Associate Librarian, Law, SMU Libraries
  • Rajen Munoo, Head Learning and Engagement, SMU Libraries

With inputs from the SMU Libraries programme participants:

  • Ms Jeyalakshmi Sambasivam, Senior Assistant Manager (NTU Libraries);
  • Ms Suhasini d/o Rajendran, Associate Librarian (Singapore University of Social Sciences Library);
  • Ms Stephanie Ow Tsin Li, Librarian (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (NIE NTU), Singapore;
  • Mr Muhammad Ridzwan bin Hussain, Senior Associate (Singapore University of Technology and Design Library);
  • Mr Allan Mones Quito, Senior Manager, Technology (SIT Library);
  • Ms Wendy Thun, Librarian (NUS Libraries);
  • Ms Poonam Lalwani, Curator (NUS Libraries) and
  • Ms Gladys Toh Mei Jun, Research Assistant (NUS Libraries).

#LibraryTwitter – What to look up?

twitter on phone

Twitter, a social media networking tool, has been on the news a lot lately. If you don’t have an account or thinking of starting one, check out Twitter and how it might enhance your learning in the field.

New to twitter? It is an opportunity for you to engage with a global profession through this social media tool!

Watch this short video on how to start twitter account. Be sure to follow up at @iflacpdwl to find the latest trends and updates coming from our section and section members.

This blog post will highlight the hashtags that you’ll want to follow and search to learn more on what others in the field are discussing:


#libraries / #library

#critcat (learn more about #critcat here:

#LISMentalHealth (learn more about #LISMentalHealth here:

#critlib (learn more about #critlib here:

There are many hashtags to search but these hashtags will show many conversations about the field in areas. Have fun reading and tweeting!

10th Forum of Young Librarians of Russia

The 10th Forum of Young Librarians of Russia was held in Moscow on the 11-
13th of October, 2022, and was designed to promote professional development
of young librarians, to increase their motivation to improve competencies and
boost their creativity, to create favourable conditions for professional
networking and launching team projects.
Themed “Show Yourself to the World”, the Forum was the largest in the history
of the young librarians movement in the country. Supported by the Ministry of
Culture of Russia and Russian Library Association, the Forum brought together
over 350 new professionals from more than 60 regions of the Russian
The Russian State Library for Young Adults, M. Rudomino All-Russia State
Library for Foreign Literature and the Russian State Library developed the
concept and organized this significant event, supported by the Russian Library
Association, federal libraries and the Moscow library system.
Among the Forum’s speakers and coaches were prominent library experts, as
well as IT and creative industry professionals, specialists in social
entrepreneurship and the arts, career development and advancement.
It was important for young librarians to meet prominent people in their
profession and to feel the attention and interest on the part of the high-ranking
officials who determine the development trajectory of the country. President of
the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Minister of Culture of the Russian
Federation Olga Lyubimova, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Youth
Affairs Artem Metelev made welcoming addresses to the participants. The
experienced library experts shared memories, gave advice, laid out their vision.
The three-day program included about 80 events at more than 20 venues. The
discussions centered upon realities and prospects of the library field in Russia.
On the first day the panel discussion, “Knowledge economy: what a young
person needs to know and be able to do to become part of it”, was aimed at
engaging new professionals in an intensive process of learning new ideas and
providing them with the skills and abilities, which they could utilize back in
their regions.
On the second day the participants were offered a variety of interactive events at
eight federal libraries, which hosted lectures, discussions, pitch sessions,
training sessions and master classes, introducing the participants to their
practices and inviting them to join the on-going projects as well as to produce

their own. In the afternoon, 32 papers were delivered in the pitch sessions under
the themes “How can library become a driver of creativity and intellect?» and
«Dialogue of Cultures in the Library». The communication at the Forum
enriched the participants with new knowledge and emotions and resulted in
growing friendship between people, libraries and cities.
The third day of the Forum was marked by a highlight event – the ten (out of
90) shortlisted teams from the regions of Russia presented their projects within
the All-Russia competition for the best library project held among new
professionals. The competition showcased projects related to creative industries,
inclusion, volunteering, local studies, information literacy, organization of
library space, promotion of books and reading, etc. The three winning projects,
which came up with the most creative and enriching practices, were announced
based on the results of the on-site electronic voting of the Forum participants
and the professional jury. The winners were awarded diplomas, cash certificates
and gifts.
The first prize was awarded to the project “Library Volunteers, Sparkles of
Good” from the town of Beriozovsky (Sverdlovsk Oblast). The local librarians
view their library as an open and inclusive space offering equal opportunities to
everyone. In 2013, they launched an inclusive television studio «Compass TV»
as part of the library volunteers club “Sparkles of Good”. It has brought together
disabled young adults from the local municipality. The TV studio helps them
record podcasts, make and edit videos and movies about books, libraries,
museums. The volunteers assist their library in organising events, eg meetings
with interesting people, training workshops.
The second prize was won by the Ilyinka Digital project from the city of Nizhni
Novgorod. One of the city library branches set up a creative space for youth
where IT-technologies help reconstruct the historical appearance of Ilyinka
Street and its surroundings. The modern digital methods of 3D modelling and
holography restore images of the historical buildings. The users can conduct
research in local studies on their own and discover the city’s historical and
cultural heritage.
The third prize was given to the project “Emotional Map of Kolomna”
presented by the team from the town of Kolomna (Moscow Region). In 2021,
the public libraries of Kolomna launched an interactive map displaying town
sights which are ideal to dream or appoint romantic dates or spend time alone,
etc. The sights include photographs, brief historical overviews and legends
associated with the places, as well as an audio guide of stories told by town
residents, thus incorporating their impressions of the native town. Anyone can

use the Emotional Map of Kolomna to line up a route and delve into the local
history. This project reveals the local people’s emotional ties to their hometown,
upholds them and generates a genuine interest in the local cultural heritage.
These winning projects constituted the first contribution to the Bank of Creative
Ideas and Innovative Practices, a project realized by the Russian State Library
for Young Adults with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian
The host of the next Forum of Young Librarians of Russia in 2023 will be the
city of Chelyabinsk and the Chelyabinsk Regional Universal Scientific Library.

The recording in Russian can be viewed here: