Professional Development During a Pandemic: Transforming a Conference for Library Paraprofessionals
Keywords:Conferences, Paraprofessional, Professional Development
AbstractThe annual, one-day Paraprofessional Conference is hosted, planned, and coordinated by East Carolina University’s Joyner Library. Since 2004, the conference has provided professional development opportunities geared to library staff from academic, school, and public libraries across North Carolina. Its unique focus on paraprofessionals has made the conference a consistent success over its 15 years in existence. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic complicated planning and logistics for the conference originally scheduled for early May. This article describes the efforts made by the Paraprofessional Conference Planning Committee to reimagine a face-to-face conference as a completely virtual synchronous experience. We will share our processes, practical lessons learned, successes, and shortcomings to support others who are interested in creating meaningful and engaging virtual conferences, whether by choice or necessity.
Research & Librarianship