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On webinars on webinars

How many of you know about ASIS&T’s webinar program? The association provides a wide range of webinars. Most webinars are free for ASIS&T’s members, and they are archived so you can view them at any time. With our webinars, you can learn about new things at any time and from any place. They’re so nice to have when you’re between conferences and you want a professional development fix, or when you can’t attend conferences at all due to time or money restrictions and want a professional development fix. Anyone can attend an ASIS&T webinar, and anyone can propose one as well. They are mostly on educational topics of interest to the association, but some have been used to conduct association business as well, such as meetings for chapter leaders.

Back in 2012, after I had chaired the Webinar Task Force and was chairing the subsequent Online Education Task Force, I presented “The ASIS&T Webinar on Webinars: How to Propose, Organize, and Present a Webinar.” As its title implies, and as noted on the website, this webinar talks about the following:

  • A summary of the fact-finding results of 2010’s Webinar Task Force, and how these results are informing the direction of the new Online Education Task Force and the Education Committee,
  • How to suggest webinar topics for continuing education purposes,
  • Innovative ways in which your SIG, chapter, or other ASIS&T entity can take advantage of the webinar software for programs and business meetings,
  • How to work with ASIS&T headquarters when scheduling a webinar;
  • How easy it is to use ASIS&T’s webinar software as a webinar organizer and presenter.

I was so honored to lead the work on the webinar program, especially since I was appointed by Linda Smith, our president at the time! I’m so pleased to see that ASIS&T has sponsored so many webinars in the last few years. Webinars are an amazing benefit of ASIS&T membership, regardless of your position or status in the field.

Given my connection to our webinars, you can imagine how happy I was to attend the ASIS&T webinar called “Producing Effective Online Programs: Experiences and Lessons Learned,” on January 21. (Shameless self-promotion: my “Webinar on Webinars” was mentioned in the session.) The presentation included tips and viewpoints from Marisa H. Martinez and Jeremy L. McLaughlin, leaders of the ASIS&T Student Chapter at San Jose State University, as well as Karen Miller, Co-Chair of the Education for Information Science SIG (SIG ED). This chapter and this SIG both have an excellent track record of providing quality online programs, and there is quite a bit of wisdom in their presentations. If you had any doubts about presenting a webinar before viewing this session, they should all be gone by the time you’re finished with it.

As much as I want to encourage all members (and non-members!) to attend our webinars, I hope you will consider presenting one as well. We have a wealth of knowledge in our association, and we can can benefit from all that we have to share with each other. We can can get some ideas from SJSU’s talk: not all online programs necessarily have to be webinars.

If your SIG or chapter has an idea for professional development that might not be best presented in the webinar format, let me know about it. As ASIS&T’s Social Media Manager, I’m extremely interested in facilitating the use of the latest interactive platforms and formats to share our association’s cutting-edge ideas, skills, and research.

So, innovate away, and never stop learning… but remember to tell us about it!