On Your Own but Not Alone: One-Person Librarians in Ireland and Their Perceptions of Continuing Professional Development

  • Hornung E
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One-person librarians (OPLs) are the sole information provider in their respective organizations. Continuing professional development (CPD) is vital to satisfy their own information needs and, by proxy, those of the people they serve. No research has so far been carried out to establish what CPD means to these highly specialized library workers. This article reports on some of the findings of a phenomenographic study conducted among thirty OPLs in the Republic of Ireland. The researcher found five different ways of experiencing CPD, ranging from an organizational focus only to a lifelong, life-wide learning orientation. She also discovered four dimensions of variation, namely, "time," "style," "networking," and "role," each of which influenced succinctly how solo librarians perceived the effectiveness of different means of CPD. The study suggests that a new model of understanding CPD is needed if library associations want to provide successful support to OPLs. A "one-size-fits-all" approach is not appropriate for OPLs.

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  • Eva Hornung

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