BCLA Perspectives

The Professional Development Issue: A letter from the Editors

Professional development is a broad concept—encompassing anything from formalized courses and certificates, to conference attendance, journal clubs, and involvement in professional associations—but it is specific to your skills, needs, and career goals. It requires self motivation to find, secure, and engage in learning opportunities, while time, money, geography, and institutional support play a part in helping or hindering your ability to partake.

In addition to our general call for submissions, we reached out to BCLA divisions, BC-based and local organizations, national and international professional associations. Instead of choosing one focus, we cast a wide net in hopes of reaching new ideas, enthusiastic organizations, and passionate voices.

Helen Brown challenges us to consider our professional response to the growing environmental crisis, especially the travel that accompanies many professional development pursuits.

In another thought-provoking piece, Ashley Edwards and Dawn Smaill candidly discuss their experiences as Library Technicians when seeking both professional development opportunities and involvement with professional associations.

Focusing on our own organization, current President Chris Middlemass details various types of involvement and advice on how to get involved with the BCLA. In addition, the LGBTQ+ Interest Group and Young Adult and Children’s Section (YAACS) invite you to check them out—and the Readers Advisory Interest Group seeks eager leaders.

For library workers who find themselves working with archival material, archival-interested professionals, and MAS/MLIS grads who want a refresher on the MAS side of things, our GLAM partner, Archives Association of British Columbia, has a variety of opportunities.

Looking beyond the BCLA, the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians, Pacific Northwest Library Association, and British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ Association share their missions, interests, and professional development possibilities.

With this issue we’re also excited to introduce our new editor, Erin May. Erin finished her MLIS in 2017 at the University of Alberta. She has worked at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) since August 2018, where she is a reference and instruction librarian. She provides in depth research help and library instruction to her liaison areas of education, social work, and sociology, anthropology, and archaeology. She loves to tackle interesting projects that support the TRU learning community. When not at the library, Erin takes in the Kamloops sun by hiking and reading outdoors, and cools off by playing tabletop board games. We’d also like to say thanks to the outgoing editor, Nolan Kelly.

Finally, if you’re looking for professional development inspiration, we put together this brief list of resources—and we hope you’ll consider adding your own ideas, too.