61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE III
Blanche Woolls, Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh
The Second World Conference on Continuing Professional Education concluded
with a unanimous "vote" to begin plans immediately for World Continuing
Professional Education Conference III. These discussions continued
through the Roundtable meetings in Barcelona and Havana. This paper
suggests points for consideration.
The Second World Conference was designed to
Make CPE for library and information science professionals a
significant part of local, national, and international library and
information science efforts
Identify elements that yield quality CPE, and develop means to
achieve these elements.
Study alternative delivery systems for CPE and their relative
Take stock of CPE achievements, needs, problems, since the First
World Conference and work for proposed solutions.
Improve the ability of librarians worldwide to contribute to the
lifelong learning of individuals both within and outside the profession.
This paper is designed as a formal discussion of possible topics, possible audiences, possible conveners, how to plan, and where to seek funding, among other topics. It must be interactive, and requi
res audience participation at each part. We begin with possible topics flowing from the success of the first and second world conferences.
The theme of the First World Conference, Continuing Education: Issues and
Challenges, indeed challenged participants. Malcolm Knowles suggested
ways for understanding the adult learner, and Alan B. Knox discussed
strengthening the quality of continuing education. Ronald Gross explained
conjoining of the humanities and lifelong learning with libraries,
Margaret Trask described interconnections in the library and information
science career development process, and Norman D. Kurland cited the
potential of study circles for continuing education. Glen R. Wilde
presented a model for one continuing education program in a rural area.
Distance education panels followed concurrent demonstration sessions of
teleconferencing and computer conferencing as a tool
for instruction. Several presentations considered the role of
government, professional associations, library schools, and employing
agencies in continuing education. Other presenters discussed experience
with continuing professional education in their countries and regions or
detailing the needs and proposing solutions. Poster sessions featured
training of trainers, long range planning, sel assessment for CE,
conference programs and CE, rural libraries and multitype cooperation for
CE, one state 's experience, and a CE program for implementing new
The Barcelona Conference had for its major theme, Continuing Professional
Education and IFLA: Past, Present, and a Vision for the Future. A reactor
panel discussed a paper written by CPERT founder, Elizabeth W. Stone.
Duncan Smith proposed that librari anship's continuing educators should
become the "visionary leaders and chart a new course not only for
ourselves but for our professionThe sessions on distance education
presented a variety of views from several countries. Haycock reported on
the research in professional and staff development. A variety of speakers shared
experiences from their countries, both worthwhile and always of interest.
Based on a review of the objectives of both these conferences and their
proceedings, the following topics are proposed for your consideration.
Others will be added.
Old and New Methods for Providing Continuing Education (reports
from the field concerning successful programs, programs currently in
place, and programs being planned to be tested)
Charting a New Course for Continuing Education and the Profession
Distance Education for Continuing Education: New Perspectives
(Who is conducting continuing education over distance education, how to
make it feasible for more participants, particularly those in
non industrialized nations.)
Research in Professional and Staff Development (An update on
current research, how to conduct research for needs assessment through
evaluating professional programs)
Continuing Professional Education around the World: A Report
Making CPE a Significant Part of Local, National, and
International Library and Information Science Efforts.
Audiences for all CPERT activities are open to all who have an interest.
Because both World Conferences were held in conjunction with IFLA, the
primary audience for World Conference III should logically be persons
planning to attend IFLA.
Continuing Education Providers: Persons who provide continuing education
experiences have always been interested in the activities of CPERT. Many
of them are on our current mailing list.
Continuing Education Provider Beginners: Persons who have responsibility
for continuing education training and who are just beginning will need to
be encouraged to attend. Locating names and addresses of these persons
will provide a challenge.
Library School Educators: Issuing invitations through deans and directors
of library education programs should be a simple way to encourage
attendance from this group.
Librarians: Publicity through IFLA will help reach the IFLA membership.
Suggestions are needed for inexpensive ways to invite a wide audience of
Government Officials: This group, always essential, remain a most
difficult audience to attract. What would attract government officials to
World Conference III?
Speakers as Audience: Being able to attend a conference often is tied to
direct participation in the conference by presenting a paper. This makes
it easier for persons who wish to attend to get permission and funding.
A conference planning committee was established for both previous
conferences. Because the first conference was held in the United States,
principal members were from the U.S. Since many persons interested in
continuing professional education attend mee tings of the American Library
Association, these conferences provided a venue for larger planning
groups to meet with little additional expense to CPERT. It was logical at
that time that the convener be someone in North America who could meet
Through the advent of e-mail and FAX machines, communication is not as
difficult as it was at the time of the First World Conference. The fact
that many papers were sent by e-mail to be published is an indication
that the convener can be off-site. Howev er, anyone who plans to manage
World Conference on Continuing Professional Education III must have
financial backing from a home institution because IFLA may expect the
Conference to be self-supporting.
Choosing a convener needs to be done at this conference in order to allow
enough time to share in the selection of a theme, establish the location,
choose the committees, and send a call for papers. Should this be done by
appointment, through an applica tion, hope for a volunteer, or what other
means? The application or appointment process hse merit if the persons
interested can demonstrate their ability to carry out the tasks needed to
make this event successful. Certainly a first criterion would be
the ability of the convener to attend the Beijing Conference as well as
to go to Copenhagen.
How to Plan
- Where to hold the conference becomes a first question to answer
because where it is held determines some of the types of committees and
where their membership will be located. Since it has been tentatively
scheduled for 1997, this places the c onference in Europe if not in
Copenhagen itself. Holding the conference in close proximity to
Copenhagen will mean less transportation costs for participants. Because
the Second World Conference was held in Barcelona, participants could
travel to that city, move into their accommodations, and remain there for
the remainder of IFLA. Moving cities adds to the cost of participating in
- A second step is to determine how many persons are needed to
carry out the work for World Conference III. Suggestions include several
committees, a Planning Committee, Publishing Committee, Funding
Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Pu blicity/Marketing Committee,
Evaluation Committee, Dissemination Committee, and The Conference (local
arrangements, registration, small group discussion leaders).
- Length of time:
- The First World Conference was four days, the Second was
three days. The length of the conference affects the number of sessions
that can be offered. Yet, when the conference is held for a longer
period, it becomes more difficult for pe rsons to get funding for this and
for the week of IFLA.
- The First World Conference had more opportunity for small group
discussion and interaction, partially because participants had come
together to plan a strategy to make continuing professional education a
formal part of the IFLA structure. If CPE RT is to identify elements that
yield quality CPE and the means to achieve them as well as to study
alternative delivery systems, small group sessions could be very helpful.
- Poster sessions:
- Poster sessions allow persons to display and discuss their informationduring the conference in a more relaxed atmosphere. It expands the number
of presentations without expanding the time. If this is to be a part of
the conference, a Poster Session Com mittee should be added to the
- Number of speakers:
- As stated earlier, the number of speakers depends
somewhat upon both format and length of the conference. A further
consideration is given based upon funding for the conference. No funding
was allocated to pay persons for presentatio n for the Second World
- Related activities:
- Planning for these requires attention because delegates
need to know what time will be available to meet and discuss issues with
the participants. Some of these are scheduled as a part of social event.
- Vists to continung education facilities provide additional experiences
- A committee will be assigned for this task. However, the
number and types of efforts that will be needed must be determined as
well as any possible funding that will be available. Brochures to
distribute in Beijing or to mail when information is requested all have
- Publishing the Proceedings:
- The proceedings of the first two conferences
were published by K.G. Saur and made available to delegates when they
arrived at the conference. This meant that papers were prepared and
submitted at some time in advance of the conference. The publishing
committee will need to confirm with IFLA and Saur if the same process can
be implemented for World Conference III. An editor(s) should be chosen
somewhat in the manner of the convener. That is, will the editor be
appointed, apply, or volunteer? For the first conference, a fee was
available to assist the editor in the process. This was not available for
the editor of the papers for the Second World Conference. As stated
earlier, many papers were sent by FAX and by e mail. Any potential editor
should be able to receive papers in this manner or plan for an even
longer lead time for submission of papers. It is assumed that the
publishing committee will help evaluate and select which papers are given
for the conference.
Where to Seek Funding
It has been suggested that a funding committee be established to
help secure additional funding for this conference. Because the first
world conference was held in the United States, U.S. governmental support
from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the H.W. Wilson Company,
the Council of Library Resources, and the Association of College and
Research Libraries all made donations to the effort. Funding committee
members need to start immediately to analyze and seek sources of funding.
Certainly participants who have attended one or both of the
previous World Conference on Continuing Education for the Library and
Information Science Professions can attest to the excitement of
participants as well as the quality of information they received. CPERT
is moving forward with plans for World Conference III. Your help in
planning any phase of this will be greatly appreciated.
1. Duncan Smith. "The Greening of Librarianship: Charting a New Course
through Continuing Library Education." pp. 11 23.