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Building the Learning Environment: Professional Development

Update December 2020:
This web page is a companion to the 2016 version of the School Library Program Rubric. NYSED released an updated School Library Program Rubric in December 2020.

Student Snapshot: Student achievement is increased through professional development and  improvements in knowledge and skill.

Janvey and McCurry (2013) state that “librarianship is a rapidly changing profession, continuously evolving to keep pace with the invention of new technologies and the changing needs of its patrons. This is one of the major reasons professional development is critical for librarians. It allows them to be relevant and valuable members of the library science community. Participating in these opportunities is a vital tool for all librarians at any stage of their career. Whether they are experienced, new, or transitioning jobs, professional development is beneficial. It can help build transferable skills during the job search or provide the information and training required for a current position.” Professional development is required by the New York State Education Department for all librarians to retain their certifications.

Source: Janvey, Alexandra, and Jaime McCurry. "Professional Development 101." American Library Association, 15 May 2013.

Citation for Photo: Barrett, K.W. Teachers and Staff Back to School. 2012. Flickr.

This web page features a photo from K.W. Barrett, available under Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic  license.

In Practice

Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian

Description: To remain gainfully employed, today's school librarian has to be a leader in the school. To that end, Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian encourages librarians to become instrumental in providing professional development to teachers and staff. The book begins by explaining why librarians should participate in designing and presenting professional development, then goes on to provide tips, examples, and a complete model for doing this based on system used at the author's school.

*Resource/Citation: Harvey, Carl A. Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian. Libraries Unlimited Incorporated, 2012. Print.

Growing Schools: Effective Professional Development

Description: The article looks at issues and opportunities for planning and implementing professional development activities for classroom teachers through the lens of imagined interactions between a librarian and her administrator and teachers. It explores how digital resources, laptop carts, and 1:1 initiative have shifted librarian's function in schools and districts as well as offers guidance for personal and professional interactions. The potential of professional development to leverage the expertise, perspectives, and skills of librarians is discussed.

Citation: Abilock, Debbie, Violet H. Harada, and Kristin Fontichiaro. "Growing Schools: Effective Professional Development." Teacher Librarian, vol. 41, no. 1, 2013, p. 8. EBSCOHost.

Leading a Workshop for Teachers or Parents: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Description: This article provides brief tips for educators who are presenting to teachers and parents, emphasizing differences between lessons for children and for adults. Simple suggestions for activities illustrate the importance of targeting a lesson to an adult audience.

Resource/Citation: Laboon, Jennifer. "Leading a Workshop for Teachers or Parents: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone." Knowledge Quest Blog, 7 Dec. 2015.

NYSED Office of Teaching Initiatives

Description: Provides guidelines for acceptable professional development to meet the 100 hour requirement for continued certification.

Resource/Citation: New York State Education Department. “New registration requirements for classroom teachers and school leaders holding a Permanent or Professional certificate, and Teaching Assistant Level III certificate holders”. New York State Education Department, 13 July 2016.

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Description: School library media coordinator Jennifer LaGarde shares examples of professional development created with members of her personal learning network; her examples cover a range of topics and formats. She articulates qualities of a strong professional development session and recommends tools for connecting with other educators online.

Resource/Citation: LaGarde, Jennifer. "I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends." The Adventures of Library Girl, 25 Nov. 2015.

New York Library Association/Section of School Librarians Organization

Description: The Section of School Librarians, originally organized as the School Library Media Section (SLMS) in 1944, advancing the profession by providing school librarians opportunities to ensure that each student becomes an active reader, responsible information seeker, and critical thinker. NYLA/SSL provides school library-focused, high quality professional development as well as presentation opportunities for school librarians.

Citation: New York Library Association. “NYLA/SSL Organization.” The New York Library Association, 2015.

In Theory

New York State Professional Development Standards

Description: The efforts of the New York State Board of Regents, the State Education Department, and the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching have resulted in formal processes that promote and support professional development for all educators and other school personnel.

Resource/Citation: New York State Education Department. "Professional Development Standards." New York State Department of Education, 9 Mar. 2012.

We Can’t Do It Alone

Description: The article discusses the importance of district level advocacy and professional support in the continued practice of teacher librarians. Topics include the New York City School Library System (NYCSLS) offerings to teacher librarians, the importance of strong educational leadership as exemplified by Barbara Tremblay of the P721K in South Brooklyn in New York City, New York, and the partnerships between New York City's public library systems and the New York City Department of Education.

Resource/Citation: Ellis, Leanne, and Melissa Jacobs Israel. "We Can't Do It Alone." Teacher Librarian, vol. 42, no. 3, 2015, pp. 18-21.

Making the Classroom-Library Connection

Description: This report focuses on the outcomes of a workshop for 165 preservice student teachers that included four areas of a teacher librarians expertise reflecting best practices in teacher librarianship: classroom teacher-school librarian co-planning, collaboratively integrating Web 2.0 tools, teaching within copyright and fair use guidelines, and coteaching reading comprehension strategies.

Resource/Citation: Moreillon, Judi. “Making the Classroom-Library Connection”. Teacher Librarian, vol.     43, no. 4, 2016, pp. 8-18.


Name: Katharine St. Laurent


Bio: Katie St. Laurent is the librarian at Solvay High School in Solvay, NY and the co-president of Central New York School Librarians. She previously worked as a trainer at Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES, where she discovered her passion for the power of professional development to enable lifelong learning and growth.  She is enthusiastic about helping teachers and librarians grow their skills and expand their capabilities.

*To access restricted database articles speak with your school librarian or public librarian.