Related product Professional Development

Professional Development Alliance

CARLI has partnered with *eight other library consortia to create the Professional Development Alliance. The PDA is a group of library consortia dedicated to sharing professional development opportunities with other alliance members. This cooperative initiative multiplies the number and variety of online professional development opportunities available to the member libraries of each participating consortium.

In this pilot initiative, each PDA-participating consortium will open a select number of no-cost, online professional development sessions each month to the member libraries of the other participating consortia. Sessions will cover a broad array of topics of interest to library professionals. 

PDA offerings including registration information (converted into Central Time Zone) will be added to the CARLI events calendar and will also be announced to CARLI email lists. The CARLI calendar will direct participants to the host consortium to register; events will be held using the host's preferred delivery platform. 

This new initiative aligns closely with CARLI's stated strategic priority to "explore opportunities to collaborate with other states or academic library affiliated organizations". Additionally, the pivot to an almost exclusively online workplace has emphasized the need for expanded learning opportunities. The PDA also provides a unique opportunity to enrich our awareness of the diversity of library staff across the nation, bringing us added perspectives and increasing our understanding of contexts beyond our own. 

We want to hear from you! If you have a topic you would like to see as a continuing education program, send your idea to .         

*Professional Development Alliance (PDA) participating consortia are:

ASERL: Association of Southeastern Research Libraries
Atla: American Theological Library Association
BLC: Boston Library Consortium
CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois
LOUIS: Louisiana Library Network
Minitex: Consortia in Minnesota including North Dakota and South Dakota
NC LIVE: North Carolina's statewide library cooperative
SCELC: Southern California Electric Library Consortium
SEFLIN: Southeast Florida Library Information Network

Past Webinars

We are working to add captioned versions of all past PDA recordings.

Word Accessibility Basics presented by Mark McCarthy on September 17, 2021

Mark McCarthy shares basic tips and tricks you can use to make your Word documents more accessible to people with disabilities! 

  • Learn about effective and efficient use of headings and styles;
  • Learn more about the difference between styling, formatting, and typesetting;
  • Learn how to effectively use images in your Word documents;
  • Spark your interest into more advanced topics!


Comfortable Access to Library Buildings by Users and Staff with Disabilities: Going Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act Minimums presented by Dr. Fred Schlipf on July 14, 20, and 22, 2021

Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act and relevant state building codes, many library buildings fail to deal with a range of everyday disabilities among users and staff. This program reviews accessibility options and some possible solutions. Although by far the best time to deal with accessibility issues is before design and construction begin, many things can be done later.

Striving for Excellence, Achieving Perfection: What Went Wrong? presented by Garry Sanders on May 18, 2021

Leaders and team members aim to attain goals, to meet objectives, and please all of their stakeholders and employees along the way. This webinar focuses on a key leadership distinction: excellence versus perfection, and how a leader or team member’s overall effectiveness is influenced by how aware they are of their own inclination (and that of their team members) toward each dimension.

Fair Use Gameshow presented by Sara Benson, Melissa Ocepek, Pia Hunter, and Barbara Kaplan on May 4, 2021

In this Fair Use Gameshow, Sara Benson, the Copyright Librarian at the University of Illinois asks fun, challenging fair use questions to the audience and our panel of esteemed copyright experts chime in with their opinions. View the fun as the panel including Melissa Ocepek, Assistant Professor at the iSchool, Pia Hunter, Access Librarian and Online Learning Consultant at the University of Illinois College of Law, and Barbara Kaplan, Faculty Outreach Librarian at the University of Illinois College of Law discuss the many nuances of fair use.

Incoming Library Collections: A Unified Approach to Newly Acquired Material presented by Tonia Grafakos on April 20, 2021

New collections come from a variety of sources. Whether a gift, donation, or acquisition, all incoming material present challenges to libraries. Tonia Grafakos shares how Northwestern University Libraries unified its process for incoming collections. Special attention is paid to preservation issues relating to incoming collections.

Undergraduate Research Webinar Series

Day 1 on March 25, 2021

At the Heart of Learning: The Library Research Scholars and Adobe Scholars Program presented by Ava Brillat and Lauren Fraliger

In this first webinar of the series, Ava Brillat and Lauren Fraliger detail the structure of the University of Miami’s Library Research Scholars and Adobe Scholars Program, the mentoring process, and the incorporation of ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.


The Library's Synergy with Campus Coordinators of Undergraduate Research presented by Merinda Kaye Hensley

In this second webinar of the series, Merinda Kaye Hensley at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discusses several intersections between the Library and the Illinois Office of Undergraduate Research including a lively discussion on refining the definition of undergraduate research, why analyzing results from two campus-wide surveys of the undergraduate researcher experience isn't enough, and what happens when students do not own the data they want to publish in the institutional repository. 


Day 2 on March 30, 2021

Partnering to Support Students in Remote Research Experiences presented by Rebecca Starkey

In this third webinar of the series, Rebecca Starkey at the University of Chicago Library discusses a new collaboration with the College Center for Research and Fellowships on a campus initiative to help undergraduates engage in remote research experiences. The resulting projects included a new website for mentors and students partnered in remote research, and a workshop to prepare undergraduates to conduct research online. Although arising from necessity, the collaboration provided a new way to highlight the library’s role in creating and sustaining meaningful undergraduate research experiences.


Research Consultations as a Research Support in the Virtual Environment presented by Joanna Kolendo & Rosalind Fielder-Giscombe

In this fourth webinar of the series, Joanna Kolendo & Rosalind Fielder-Giscombe at Chicago State University Library describe how they migrated all reference and instruction services to an entirely virtual environment to continue to assist students with research papers and other academic projects in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. They describe the benefits and drawbacks of the cloud-based software long in use at their institution, compare appointment scheduling platforms and virtual meeting platforms, reflect on data collection and data trends, and share lessons learned. 


Day 3 on March 31, 2021

Inclusion and Equity through Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) presented by Gina Hunter

In this fifth webinar of the series, Gina Hunter at Illinois State University offers a brief overview of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) and provides examples from sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Hunter examines the value of CUREs for increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in undergraduate research programs, and suggests resources for further learning.


JEDI Inspirations for Undergraduate Research:  Leveraging Library Connections to Diversify Student Research and Researchers presented by Roxane Pickens

In this sixth webinar of the series, Roxane Pickens at the University of Miami addresses ways that college and university libraries can inspire a more diversified portfolio of undergraduate student research and researchers by critically and creatively engaging justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) principles, especially by leveraging strategic collaborations with library and other academic partners to pique student interest and support their processes of exploration and analysis.  


Day 4 on April 1, 2021

From Rookie to Researcher: Integrating Information Literacy into Undergraduate Research presented by Larissa Garcia, Dee Anna Phares, & Kimberly Shotick

In this seventh webinar of the series, Larissa Garcia, Dee Anna Phares, & Kimberly Shotick describe Northern Illinois University Library's collaboration with the university’s office of undergraduate research (OSEEL) and efforts to incorporate information literacy into its Research Rookies program. What began as an optional section of the library’s credit course that drew only a few students, evolved into a series of sessions for the entire program, and, ultimately, a required Blackboard course with assignments. Additionally, learn how they successfully advocated for integrating information literacy criteria into the Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day, the office’s spotlight annual event. 


Building Relationships on Campus to Support Undergraduate Research presented by Jason Kruse

In this eighth webinar of the series, Jason Kruse describes how Northwestern University Libraries have developed long-time partnerships with programs that offer and support undergraduate research opportunities. Through these relationships, the Libraries have been able to promote and integrate their expertise, resources, and services into these student experiences, and be part of more robust support for undergraduate research across campus.


Meet Harriet Tubman presented by Kathryn Harris on March 10, 2021

Kathryn Harris presents her first-person performance as "Harriet Tubman". Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most famous Conductor on the Underground Railroad and Ms. Harris tells her life story, including not only her own escape to freedom, but also the trips she made back South to free her family and others so that they could also experience the "sweet taste of freedom".


Redefining Self-Care in the Midst of a Global Pandemic Series presented by Joan Schuitema and Lynn Gullickson Spencer

Part 1: on January 12, 2021

In this first psychoeducational webinar, Joan Schuitema and Lynn Gullickson Spencer discuss what is needed in addition to routine self-care during a global pandemic. 
Characteristics of different types of stress, including traumatic stress, are reviewed as well as the range of stress responses. The speakers propose additional self-care steps during the current health crisis and provide considerations for when professional help may be beneficial. 


Part 2: on January 19, 2021

This second webinar of the two-part series is experiential in nature and provides participants with the opportunity to confidentially identify common stressors. Joan Schuitema and Lynn Gullickson Spencer provide resources, tools, and support to manage unique challenges during the COVID-19 era.


Communicating Value through Storytelling presented by Dr. Kate McDowell on December 16, 2020

Storytelling has been happening for over a century in libraries, but its applications are too often presumed to be narrowly focused on serving children. The skills involved in navigating a dynamic exchange between teller, audience, and story are applicable to the most pressing problems facing libraries and librarians in the 21st century, those of communicating our knowledge and value. Dr. McDowell features storytelling insights based on over 40 interviews from the Storytelling @ Work project, and combining insights from librarians with those from storytelling applications in advancement and fundraising. Participants leave with narrative structures for building informative and emotionally compelling stories from their own knowledge and experience to communicate their value.


Restoring Our Attention presented by Beck Tench on November 18, 2020

In this webinar, Beck Tench discusses the market forces that incentivize technology to distract and manipulate us, takes a look at the consequences of chronic distraction in the short and long term, across individuals and society as a whole, and looks to attention restoration theory (ART) for ideas about what to do differently. ART is a theory that helps us understand how our attention is depleted and restored.


Assessment of Student Learning in Academic Libraries presented by Dr. Gianina Baker on October 14, 2020

Given the intensified attention to assessment and accountability issues in the higher education sector, academic libraries and librarians in the United States have felt increasingly compelled to demonstrate the value they bring to their colleges and universities. Opening with an introduction to assessment, in this session, Dr. Baker explores how academic libraries have approached assessment in recent years as well as current practices and future trends in assessing and documenting learning.


Accessibility Benefits Everyone presented by Tim Offenstein on September 23, 2020

Tim Offenstein, Campus Accessibility Liaison for the University of Illinois shared ideas on how to improve web accessibility to benefit all of your audiences including: 

  • Using good link text
  • Effective alternative text for images - when to use ALT and when not to
  • Information architecture - can your users easily find relevant information?
  • Simple usability tests to uncover hidden blind spots
  • Page structure - does your site have it?
  • Easy ways to test your site for accessibility
  • How does your website sound? Using screen readers