Professional Development Webinar Resources

By Allison Riggs

Times are still tough, and we are all adjusting to the new “normal” of being a librarian during a pandemic. Some of us are back in our library buildings providing curbside services with limited capacity openings, and some of us are continuing to work from home or working a hybrid schedule, but all of us are just trying to do our best and adapt with each new challenge. I just want to remind you that you are not alone. We got this!

Now, today I want to talk about professional development. We didn’t always have time to do this with our old schedules, but with a little more flexibility, I am now finding the time to watch a variety of free online webinars. Although I’m sure I’m not the only one that is getting Zoom fatigue and generally just feeling sick of being stuck in my house, there are still some great professional development webinars that I want to share with you that I think are worth taking the time to watch. These are for the next time you need a break from doing that 50th take of your program video, are feeling stressed about the future of libraries, or need a creativity boost.

Readers’ Advisory

*RAILS: Teen Readers’ Advisory: Beyond Bestsellers and Award Winners – They provide a great list of where to find diverse YA books, and talk about some awesome titles.

Reaching Forward Fridays: #OwnVoices for All Readers: Incorporating EDI Values into Readers’ Advisory Service – The title really says it all, and this webinar was done by RA for ALL.

Virtual Programming

RAILS:Beyond E-Storytimes: Virtual Services and Programs for Youth – This is a must-watch for anyone working with youth.

*RAILS: Virtual Advisory: Online Book Clubs – I absolutely loved hearing what worked, what could have gone better, and a variety of ways to try to reach patrons online with virtual book clubs.


Reaching Forward Fridays: Time Management: Calendars and Task Lists – This was truly helpful when I was struggling to stay on task while working from home.

PLA: Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Free Webinar Series – This whole series was nice to watch simply because you got to see what other libraries across the US are doing in response to COVID-19.

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth – This is a time commitment, but it’s a very informative, helpful, and important free online course. Our entire youth and teen department is going through this curriculum.

If you want a big list of free monthly professional development webinars for library staff, check out WebJunction. They also offer free in-depth online courses on a variety of library subjects.

*Some RAILS webinars require you to have a login. If your library is a member of RAILS, then you can set up a free account. Check the member directory here.


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