Learning is inherently social, yet teachers often work in isolation as they seek to grow in their practice. Genuine growth results from taking risks and withstanding failure: stepping outside our comfort zone and confronting our insecurities. Introducing innovation into our teaching practice can be scary for these reasons, and a supportive community can make all the difference. Communities of practice can help instruction librarians ensure ongoing professional development through the dialogic process of colleagues in conversation. But, this model can be a risky endeavor because the organic, non-hierarchical, and informal tone contrasts with traditional professional development modes. In this interactive workshop, participants will engage in directed activities such as reflective writing about professional learning experiences and practicing community-building exercises. Facilitators will guide participants through outlining a plan for a professional development event at their library that leverages social learning and respects differences in organizational climates. Participants will reflect on, select, and apply components of a community of practice that work for those who teach in their libraries, and will return to their institutions with strategies for engaging colleagues in informal learning, building trust through inclusiveness, and laying the groundwork for learning about teaching in their organizations.
To Mike Byrne : I’m very interested in what you’re doing (publishing hand-made books), and would love to talk more. I’d particularly be interested in learning how you made two thousand books without exhausting yourself! And then, of course, I’d love to pick your brain about how you’ve publicised these works. I’ve found it so much easier to promote myself in Canada than in the UK; there seems to be more resistance here to DIY/non-corporate projects… Or something. (And you can find my postal address on !)