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Plan For Continuing Education
Introduction And Philosophy
Through its continuing education program Rolling Prairie
Library System (RPLS) strives to improve the overall level of library service
available in its member libraries by providing opportunities for the upgrading
of the knowledge and skills of RPLS member librarians and trustees. The
program attempts to meet a part of the continuing education needs of a wide
variety of participants.
Each year it is the goal of the program to provide workshops
and other continuing education experiences for staff from all types of
libraries and from both administrative and support staff levels. In
addition events that will address the specific needs of public library trustees
are also planned for each year's schedule.
The program does not attempt to provide activities for local
library users. The program is designed for the benefit of library
personnel and trustees. Library users benefit when personnel and trustees
apply new knowledge to their library work. Library personnel includes
professional, paraprofessional, clerical staff and system staff.
The Rolling Prairie Library System provides support for a
continuing education program through a variety of activities. As a
facilitator the system:
- Designates and funds a working budget for continuing education activities.
- Appoints a system staff member to act as Continuing Education Coordinator.
- Supplies the means to disseminate information concerning continuing education to member libraries and other systems.
- Provides when appropriate the site and facilities to conduct activities.
- Seeks Opportunities for co-sponsorship of events.
Planning And Coordination
Based on Membership needs, the RPLS CE program is reviewed annually by RPLS professional staff.
All RPLS professional staff are involved in the planning and coordination of system workshops. At the
current time overall coordination of the program is the responsibility of the Consultant who is designated as the system's continuing
education coordinator. Member librarians are also often involved in the planning and presenting of various types of continuing education
A mechanism for determining priorities is the periodic surveying of our system membership to determine their perceptions of areas in which they
see the greatest need for continuing education programs. The survey process attempts to be as inclusive as possible and the system places a high
value on its ability to maintain a flexible, responsive program that is adaptive to the ever changing needs of our system membership.
With regard to the Standards for the Services of Illinois Multitype Library Systems in particular, our goal each year is to provide or
cosponsor at least 50 contact hours of continuing education for staff and governing officials of member libraries. As required by the Standards
specific topics each year will include at least one continuing education event of each of the following types.
- An orientation program for staff, trustees, and governing officials of member libraries.
- A workshop for governing officials in addition to the orientation program.
- A program of new developments in areas such as technology, legislation, and new approaches to problem solving.
Once topics for the year are selected, it is possible to move on to the next steps in the process: assigning
to various systems staff responsibility for coordinating specific events and development and a continuing education calendar on the RPLS Web
site. Continuing Education announcements include the target audience, objectives and purpose, date and location for each
continuing education activity. Announcements are distributed to all member libraries at least two months in advance of 75% of all continuing
When selecting locations for workshops, the coordinator for that workshop may choose to take advantage of the central location and meeting room
facilities of the systems agency buildings or they may choose to have the event in a facility offered by a member library. In appropriate cases a
workshop may be offered in more than one location on more than one date.
Workshop presenters are chosen from a variety of sources. A workshop may be presented by a system staff member, a member librarian, a staff
member at another system or at the Illinois State Library, or by some other qualified expert in the area to be discussed. Member librarians are
encouraged to act as presenters or resource people whenever appropriate
An Access database is maintained to track attendance at Continuing Education and training events in
order to monitor system requirements for continuing education. Rolling Prairie Library System is also a provider of ISBE certified professional development
activities and as such maintains the required forms and records that allow Illinois teacher/librarians to claim credits toward certificate renewal.