I was thrilled to hear last week about ACRL’s decision to start offering some free Webcasts for members. This is something that many people have suggested to ACRL in the past and I’m happy to see that the organization is starting to respond:

Join us on Wednesday, April 2, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CDT for a lively discussion about the future of higher education with Henry Jenkins, the Co-Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. Henry will also explore the skills and fluencies students will need for the 21st century and what the library can do to prepare for the future of higher education.

By providing this Springboard event, the ACRL Board is responding to your feedback that professional development is one of the most important services that ACRL provides and that members want additional online learning opportunities. ACRL is pleased to offer this inaugural free professional development event and will continue to sponsor a free Springboard event annually if there is sufficient interest.

It’s a good start with a very good speaker. I really think providing additional member benefits like this will bring more members to ACRL. For those who can’t attend the physical conferences and have a very small professional development budget, this is a great opportunity to learn new things without leaving your desk. While I would have been a member of ACRL either way, it makes me feel like my money was better-spent.

And ACRL, you don’t have to always get a speaker outside of our profession like Henry Jenkins. There are lots of academic librarians out there who would be willing to give a webcast like this for free. I know I would, especially if it meant that free webcasts could be offered more than once a year.