As I was designing and putting up signs for the new concept book collection (part of that big Picture book shift) today, I was thanking my lucky stars that I took commercial art and design course work between library jobs many moons ago.
That design work - learning composition; type; color work; different art mediums; theories behind catching the eyes and minds of viewers and so much more - really has helped me again and again over the years. It helped me develop an eye for creating posters; handouts; newsletters and projects that has stood me in good stead at jobs where we have no pr or design person. I'm not saying I am an expert - just that I have a decent chance of creating a quick and readable poster/handout/thing without alot of fretting.
It helped me as well in my work as a children's picture book reviewer for SLJ and was invaluable in my time serving on the Caldecott committee many years ago. I always considered those six months learning graphics know-how as the best money I ever spent in terms of making my library job easier and increasing my skills.
How about you? What additional learning opportunities or coursework enhanced your skills and made you a better youth librarian?
Image: 'Crayons' http://www.flickr.com/photos/35237092540@N01/3286004323