Over the course of the spring and summer my work is holding weekly events focused on library and archives professional development, training, and themes. The sessions will be open current staff, university faculty, and local professionals.
So, what makes a good professional development workshop? How do you gear your programing to suit a wide ranging audience who hold a variety of skill sets? What have been some of your best workshop experiences? Some of the aspects I particularly value in workshops include:
- Hands on learning. In this particular instance incorporating hands on experiences could be done with preservation techniques, numbering files, scanning items, and creating metadata.
- I also like having resources available after the workshop. Be that an email with links to projects mentioned, a PowerPoint presentation, or additional resources for participants to look at.
- Specific examples of successes, failures, and work-arounds. Theory is all well and good, but at a workshop I prefer to learn about actual best practices and implementation that is in progress.
- Being able to ask questions throughout the workshop if in an informal setting or having ample time at the end to ask questions about the material.
What do you think are essential components of archival (or any other) professional development sessions?