Personal learning ‘plans’ for librarians?

a personal development plan (PDP) can be defined as “a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational, and career development… “

This entry provides an overview to personal learning plans (PLPs) (or: “personal development plans” and even “personal learning portfolios”) which have been used for years in education, dentistry and medicine (see References). According to Malone (2008), PLPs are used in primary schools to facilitate the development of skills teachers need in order to be successful in their classrooms. However, there is a lack of good research about PLNs and their efficacy beyond education although examples can be found in the library and information science literature.

One library administrator in the United States has written about PLPs. In a recent article in New Library World, Massis (2010) states that the “…personal learning plan” offers [library] staff the opportunity of linking …learning objectives with available resources that complement the learning style of the staff member ….to ensure that one’s continuing professional training and education needs can be met, the concept of utilizing multiple learning resources to support one’s personal learning plan is imperative.” Generally speaking, the literature discusses continuing education opportunities for librarians and identifies skills development as linked to annual performance reviews and the setting of annual goals and objectives. For a detailed overview of writing a PLP for your work as a professional librarian, see Massis, 2008.

Does your institution use the personal learning plan to direct your learning? Please contact me: dean.giustini@ubc.ca

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