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Professional Development Resources Available at Our Library

By Priscilla Coulter
Associate Director of Academic Engagement, Richard G. Trefry Library 

The University’s Career Services offer a wide range of complimentary, personalized services to help you in your professional development. But did you know that the University’s Trefry Library has resources that can aid you, too? Whether you’re a current student or an alum, you can find a wealth of professional development resources in your library.

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Developing Essential Skills through Ebooks

You never stop learning, and the key to professional development is an active pursuit of new knowledge and skills. What skills do you need to give you an edge against the competition? Whatever they are, the Trefry Library probably has some ebooks for you.

developing essential skills through ebooks

Here are some examples of books you can find by searching our library:

  • Let’s say that you’ve landed a web development position and need a better understanding of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) architecture. Search the library’s ebooks for “cascading style sheets” to find books that will aid you in further development of your design skills.
  • Imagine that you’re a nurse who wants to acquire more leadership skills. Perform a search in the ebook section of the library for “nursing leadership” for ebooks that will help you identify and practice nursing management skills.
  • What if you’re a new sales representative and you’re finding negotiation to be tricky? Search the library’s ebooks for “sales negotiation” and read up on tactics that will help you gain the knowledge often needed in closing deals.

Using Library Articles to Solve Work-Related Problems

On occasion, there will be times when you’re faced with difficult work situations that require you to come up with unique solutions. Luckily, scholars in your industry are constantly publishing their own unique solutions to work-related problems, and the library has hundreds of these articles.

You can search the Trefry Library’s article database for answers to difficult situations, such as:

  • You’re a technician in an environmental services firm, and you’ve been tasked with establishing water sampling protocols to evaluate drinking water quality in your city. Get started by searching the library’s article database for “drinking water sampling” to see detailed descriptions of the methods that other researchers have used.
  • You’re a teacher in an elementary school who sees a need to make your classroom’s environment more inclusive for your students from underrepresented groups. Search the library’s articles for “inclusive education” to read about how other education professionals are making their schools safe and welcoming places for all students to learn.
  • You’re on the marketing team at your company, and you’re in charge of coming up with a plan to assess how well your latest social media campaign is working. Review the library’s articles for “social media marketing analysis” to get some insights from other marketing analysts.

Developing Your Professional Writing Skills with Our Writer’s Reference Center

Written communication is a vital skill, no matter what kind of job you have. Many professional opportunities will require you to create business documents such as emails, reports and memos. Each of those documents represent you, so they must be professionally written and formatted.

The Trefry Library has resources that can help you with your grammar and punctuation. In addition, there’s a resource that can help you with work-specific writing: the Writer’s Reference Center.

To access the Writer’s Reference Center through the library, click on the “Library” link at the top of your ecampus homepage or scroll down to find the library link under “Resources to Help You Succeed” on the same homepage. After you enter the library, click on the “Resources” menu and look for the Writer’s Reference Center underneath the “Writing” submenu. Look in the Guide to Documents for detailed guidelines to writing all kinds of work-related communications in the appropriate format, tone and style.

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Ask Your Librarians for More Professional Development Resources

All of the resources previously mentioned are just a sample of what your library has to offer. No matter what type of competency you’re looking to develop, the Trefry Library has some professional development resources to help you grow your skills. 

And even if you’ve graduated, your librarians are still your partners in learning. They’re standing by 365 days per year, ready and waiting to help you.

So don’t put off improving your professional development by sharpening your skills. Ask a librarian for help in finding professional development resources in your library.

Priscilla Coulter is a science librarian with 20 years of experience in university libraries. She holds a bachelor's and a master’s degree in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in library science from the University of North Texas. Priscilla is a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and The Wildlife Society.

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