Professional Development Program Guidelines

(Updated 2019)

  1. Purpose
    The purpose of the Continuing Education Committee of the Northern New York Library Network’s Professional Development Program is to provide assistance to the staff of member libraries in their professional development. Financial aid from this program enables staff to attend conferences, seminars, workshops and other educational activities which are not available locally and for which funds might not otherwise be available. Eligible activities do not need to be sponsored by a library or library organization.
  2. Conditions
    As a condition of the grant, recipients agree to share the expertise or knowledge gained with the North Country library community.
  3. Eligibility
    The program is available to all staff of NNY Library Network’s member organizations. Eligible events include conferences, seminars, workshops, graduate coursework in library and information science, undergraduate coursework in a work-related field, and other opportunities. Effective January 1, 2014, candidates are eligible to apply for a Professional Development Grant no sooner than every-other fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  4. Application Schedule
    Applications for funds are accepted at any time. They will be reviewed and awards will be made on a monthly basis. Applications should be received at NNYLN by the first working day of each month. Applications must be submitted electronically, using the format of the application as it appears on the NNYLN website. The program announcement, flyer, or course description URL is to be included if available.
    Applications must be received in time to be reviewed and a decision made before the event takes place. Awards will not be made retroactively.
  5. Award Funds
    The Northern New York Library Network will annually budget an amount for Professional Development grants. Effective July 1, 2019, the maximum award is $1200. Funds will be paid on a reimbursement basis. Receipts for tuition and travel must be submitted for reimbursement. Eligible expenses include registration, tuition, lodging, mileage and/or commercial transportation, and meals. Meals will be paid on a per diem basis; receipts must be submitted for all other expenses.
  6. Criteria
    1. The hierarchy for awards are:
      1. Top Priority: Job-related conference, seminars, workshops not readily available in the North Country (with an emphasis on first-time attendance and library school coursework).
      2. Second Priority: Job-related, graduate or undergraduate coursework.
      3. Lowest Priority: Multiple applications from the same member to the same conference.
    2. Other factors in awarding stipends shall be (in order of importance):
      1. Unique or special offering not readily available in the North Country.
      2. Relevance to current or future responsibilities.
      3. Availability of partially matching funds from a staff member or employer.
  7. Information Sharing

    We believe travel can be an important component of professional development, but as not everyone can do it, we hope to help the region gain access to the benefits of others’ travel experiences as much as possible.

    Award recipients will be required to follow-up with some kind of output upon their return that shares or implements their learning. They will reflect on what they learned, or on any ideas they’ve come back wanting to implement, and suggest a fitting vehicle to give others in our network access to some benefits of their training.

    For example, they might declare a goal that they’ve made to themselves and invite a group to work toward a similar goal, together, staying in contact with each other to provide some peer accountability and support. Or they might upload handouts from a session and describe key points and how they want to use them in their work. Or they could implement something they learned about and then present that project at a Network Membership meeting. We have made a new Member-Initiated Learning Exchange system (MILES) to support digital contributions, hoping to build a rich collection of resources vetted by our peers.

Application for the Professional Development Program

When training and travel has been completed as agreed, submit this reimbursement form according to the instructions therein.