While we here at ALIA Sydney would love you to join us at all our events, we know that it isn't always possible. So in today's post we're going to share some great free professional development experiences you can enjoy from your own home.
Conferences can be amazing events to attend. Meet new colleagues, catch up with the old and learn new things. Unfortunately, they can be ridiculously expensive. Registration fees often hit the thousand dollar mark and that's before adding up the incidental costs like flights or accommodation if you have to travel.
Four years ago the team at Library 2.0 decided to create a conference that anyone could attend no matter of their physical location or the size of their wallets and thus the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference was born. This year the Library 2.014 Conference will be held on 8-9 October covering multiple languages and time zones. The best bit...it's free. Completely 100% free. AND you can attend in your favourite pj's if you really want!
This year's themes cover digital services, preservation and access, emerging technologies and trends, learning commons and infinite learning, management of libraries and information centres in the 21st century, user centered services and models, and evolving roles and opportunities.
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have been around for a while now but they are still a great way of learning new skills at your own pace and in your own home. Even better, many MOOCs are still offered free of charge!
MOOC list is a an aggregator of MOOCs from a range of different providers from all over the world. This aggregator covers everything from learning a language to the sciences. MOOCs provide a fantastic opportunity to branch out into new fields and many are offered from well respected universities providing accreditation for the studies you undertake.
International Librarians Network
The ILN is an international peer mentoring program facilitating librarians to forge international networks. The ILN pairs librarians from different countries together for a fixed term and during that period the pairs are supported by regular contact and guided discussion. While partnerships have an end date (after four months), it is hoped that librarians will have built connections that will be lasting.
The ILN is a great way to build new relationships, learn new skills and share your own. At last count, there were 26 participating counties and this number is sure to grow. Participation can be as little as a weekly email to your partner librarian and as much as emails, twitter and blog interactions.
These are but a small selection of free, at home professional development opportunities that you can undertake. Feel free to dd your own suggestions in the comments below.