It's a truism that continuing professional development (CPD) is vital to librarians. The information world is moving faster than ever before, and we need to keep our skills up to date. So far in my career, most of the CPD I have engaged in has been of a short-term nature, e.g. attending and presenting at conferences, going to training workshops, etc. At the other end of the spectrum, since becoming a librarian I have done another degree (an MEd), which was a massive two-year commitment.
For some time I have wanted to engage in CPD that is more in-depth and requires more effort than typical short-term offerings, yet below the level required by a degree programme. Last week I finally took the plunge and enrolled in "Web Design Basics for Librarians", a four-week eCourse offered through the American Library Association.
Why an eCourse?
Taking a course online is more flexible. For the particular course I have chosen, there are no set times at which I must be available. I can go through the material when I have the time, and arrange study around my work commitments. Perfect for those in full time work!
Why Web Design?
For many years I have been part of the team responsible for my Library's website, but I must confess here that my knowledge of HTML and CSS is essentially non-existent! For these technicalities I have always relied on my more enlightened colleagues. Although a four-week crash course is not going to bring my level up to theirs, I at least want to have a better understanding of how things work. Also, some basic HTML and CSS will help me better customize and tweak the appearance of the content I produce on platforms like LibGuides.
If the experience proves fruitful, the plan is to have other colleagues at HKBU Library enrol in similar courses on topics that are relevant to their job duties and professional practice.
I'll be aiming to provide updates at least once a week from now until the end of the course. Wish me luck!
Text by: Chris