Developing a Personal Learning Network (PLN) can help you extend your knowledge, develop new skills, make new connections and establish your presence within the wider library and information profession. Networks can be formal and informal and can range from participating in a professional association such as SLANZA to conversations with colleagues in the school staff room.
Communication and sharing of knowledge and experiences can be face-to-face and online. The challenge can be selecting from the almost limitless possibilities for communication and networking. A good place to begin is to consider what a PLN can do to help you in your everyday work by providing opportunities to connect, collaborate, learn and contribute.
You can develop a PLN by participating in listservs, online communities, blogs or social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
Here are some resources we recommend that may help you to create a PLN that suits your interests and needs.
Listservs and mailing lists
The New Zealand school library email list ("Schoollib listserv"), is open to anyone involved with school libraries in New Zealand. Many SLANZA members take an active part in this forum, sharing their experiences and knowledge with the wider school library community.
New Zealand school libraries email list (listserv)
Australian Teacher Librarian Network (OZTL_NET) is a forum for school library staff to meet online, get help and share ideas with colleagues. Discussion topics include internet resources, library automation, events and children's literature.
News and blogs
Here's a selection of blogs and news-feeds that New Zealand librarians use.
SLANZA Reading — a space where information and news about reading are shared among members.
SLANZA news — New Zealand library news and updates from the SLANZA executive.
Services to schools
Libraries and learning — explores ideas, trends, information and research around school libraries and learning.
Create readers — engaging readers — focuses on children's and young adult literature (especially from New Zealand), literacy research, and ways to get and keep kids reading.
New Zealand school libraries
Top 50 school library bloggers — a US site that includes blogs from King's High School in Dunedin and Springston School in Canterbury.
Many library organisations and librarians have Twitter, Facebook or other social media feeds.
To expand your PLN, see who these library leaders are following on their Twitter accounts or find out which libraries are in your local community tweet:
SLANZA has a public group on Facebook.
Content curation tools
Content curation tools organise, filter, select and ‘makes sense’ of information on the web. They are a great way for you to find and share content on a particular theme. Curation tools include Scoop.it!, Pinterest, Storify and Feedly, which helps to organise blogs and articles.
We maintain a curated Scoop.it! account that focuses on school libraries and learning, creating readers and digital literacy.
Scoop.it! — Libraries and learning