What is a Personal Learning Network (PLN)?
A PLN is a group or list of people or websites that you interact with, learn from, and even contribute to. Popular with educators, PLNs can be helpful for library professionals as well. You can read some more on the concept here.
While you should always start with SAPL resources (internal link) first for work related projects, sometimes you have to go outside of SAPL to find ideas, examples, or instructions for trying out new projects or programs.
Creating your PLN
How do you find these online resources? Doing a quick Google search for a particular topic will give you a range of sites to check out. Try “teen librarians” or “librarians serving seniors” or “children’s librarians” and scan through your results. Modify your search to suit your needs; try “senior book club” or “holiday book display” or “storytime crafts” and see what you find. Use library jargon or lay person terms (i.e., “young adult book reviews” v “books for teens”) and see how your results differ.
Once you find a site that has information you can use, visit it often. Read the archives. Follow links to find new sources. Check the author’s Twitter feed and see who they follow. Give back by commenting and giving the creators feedback.
Do you have ideas for programming that you’d like to share? Have you considered creating a blog (or continuing this one) for sharing your ideas? Maybe you could post your storytime or your teen craft or your last book club discussion. Your ideas and experiences could easily help someone else out there in libraryland!
What does your PLN look like? You may already have a PLN, just didn’t realize your handful of favorite websites had a name. Share on your blog some of your online resources and what you have gained from them.