Proceedings of the Conference for Entrepreneurial Librarians

Creating communities of practice: A shared culture of professional development

Amanda Binder, Lareese Hall


Engagement in professional development activities is an expectation for many library faculty and staff. The ways in which librarians grow as professionals has a direct impact on their work within their institutions, as well as the development of the library profession as a whole. Typically, professional development is encouraged and reinforced through a system of reappointment and promotion that is often measured by individual activities. The University of North Carolina Charlotte’s J. Murrey Atkins Library is field testing a model of engagement that redefines professional development as a collaborative endeavor that supports individual exploration and growth while, potentially, impacting the profession. The focus of this new model is a philosophy of collective action and community building through the establishment and growth of library-initiated communities of practice.

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