As anyone who has attended a webinar knows, online education is a fun and enriching experience. Do you have a specific topic you’d like to learn more about? Check out WebJunction’s webinar archives for learning opportunities in various subjects.
The Spanish Language Outreach Program has archives for the In Depth Webinar series.
Services to Rural and Small Libraries include the In Focus archives at Rural Webinars.
The Learning Webinars will keep you abreast of the great ways to optimize ongoing learning opportunities.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Podcasting
Providing audio content on your library’s website improves the user experience and enriches patron services. WebJunction’s Pathfinder on Creating Audio and Podcasts for Your Library will navigate you to different resources on podcasting, including this quick guide. To acquaint yourself with the finer points of working with sound files, check out this article.
Discover the unique needs of creating podcasts for academic libraries in Learning to Speak: Creating a Library Podcast With a Unique Voice.
Check out examples of what other libraries are doing with podcasts at the Library Success Wiki Podcasting page.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Banish Burnout
Library professionals are no strangers to burnout. Indeed, the high demands of our work are sure to take a toll sooner or later. If you’re feeling the effects of burnout, it’s time to prioritize your well-being and recharge your batteries.
Even when you love what you do, burnout can occasionally trickle in. Remember, it’s a good feeling when you can look forward to going to work. Be kind to yourself: take time to refocus your priorities, prevent exhaustion, and banish burnout!
Last Week’s Poll Results: Join the Conversation
An online discussion forum is a great medium for holding conversations amongst busy, geographically dispersed people. At WebJunction, the Discussion Boards are the place where your fellow library professionals deliberate all matters concerning our work, from technology to patron services. Since we all face similar problems, the next step is to share solutions! Some interesting topics to explore:
Participating in a conversation with like-minded souls is heartening, and even if they’re not like-minded, thrashing out differences is an elevating learning experience. Think about taking the next step and join the conversation today!
Last Week’s Poll Results: Online Communities of Practice
According to this definition, a community of practice is “[An] informal, self-organized, network of peers with diverse skills and experience in an area of practice or profession”. Virtual communities of practice stem from emerging internet technologies, and their influence on knowledge management and innovation is well known. In the collaboration that occurs across community sharing, new knowledge is created, which can evolve a profession into exciting new territory. Has your engagement in your favorite communities been dwindling? Check out some resources to recharge your batteries:
Last Week’s Poll Results: The Open Source Alternative
The debate between open source and proprietary software is lively and ongoing. Some libraries succeed with large-scale open source overhauls, while others prefer the use of one or two open source applications. The function, should you choose to go there, is dependent on the unique environment of your library. WebJunction has a focus on Open Source Software which includes the following articles that can help you evaluate where your library stands.
What is Open Source?
Uses in Public Access Computing
Uses in Integrated Library Systems
Uses in Virtual Reference Services
There’s an upcoming course on open source solutions in April, don’t miss No Geeks Required: Open Source Public Workstations, Options and Issues. Also check out what WebJunction members are saying in the Open Source Solutions for Libraries discussion space.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Proactive Disaster Planning
Your ability to recover from disaster is in direct proportion to how prepared you are beforehand. WebJunction has a focus on preparation and prevention in Disaster Planning. Explore a group of resources that cover strategies for protection, including risk management, prevention methods, and creating a practical disaster relief plan.
Flooding is one of the biggest concerns for libraries. In the aftermath of the destructive flooding of Hurricane Katrina, a nationwide sense of urgency arose in an effort to ready ourselves for future disasters. The following resources promote considerations for future prevention efforts:
The following courses are a great opportunity for learning about effective disaster planning:
Last Week’s Poll Results: Successful Patron Interactions
If you’ve ever come away from a patron interaction feeling frustrated and discouraged, you’re not alone. Providing services to people is an unpredictable roller coaster of twists and turns, and sometimes it feels like you’re barely hanging on for the ride! The good news is that working effectively with the public is a skill set that can be learned and refined through practice.
Techniques and tools can help you customize best practices to fit your personality and library. The following courses will help you manage the spectrum of patron interactions.
Transform negative interactions into positive learning experiences through exchanges with your community. Getting support is crucial for maintaining an upbeat disposition.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Choose the Right Path
There are many factors that work against youth literacy, sprouting more and more reluctant readers every day. Once we get them in the library the opportunities for fostering a lifelong passion for reading are endless. The challenge is big, but extra resources and your library community can help you create a strong group of future bibliophiles!
Giving young readers a platform to voice their opinions is another idea. The Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice Award is coming up in mid-March, and this post from All Aboard refers to the helpful nominee discussion guides from Multnomah County Library.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Harness the Power of the Budget
Regardless of whether you write this detailed planning report, its contents affect every aspect of library operations. The following three companion courses will get you up to speed on making sense of budgets:
Technology and materials are examples of two important expenditures covered by your budget. Browse Technology Budgeting for help with planning technology costs. In All Aboard, members are discussing the Materials Budget Allocation and Materials Budget for Rural Libraries. Finally, further resources can be found at ALA’s wiki, which has a spot for Library Budgets and Funding.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Planning Interior Spaces
Space Planning Resources
This list of Helpful Library Building Links provides quick information on ADA and interior design information. Stop by the Space Planning discussion forum to seed new questions, ideas, and best practices in creating new environments and revamping existing library spaces. Another community place for seeking and providing space planning resources is the PubLib listserv.
In The Three Cs of Furniture Design: Congregate, Communicate, Collaborate, Tish Murphy gives a fascinating perspective on library furniture design. In How to Select Durable Furniture for Your Library, she discusses considerations such as materials, testing for longevity, and doing a trial run with samples.
Shelving and Displays
Check It Out: Shelving and Display Solutions offers merchandising ideas for library materials. The Readers’ Advisory discussion forum in All Aboard features various threads on display ideas, including Book Displays and More Book Displays.
Setting the stage for a pleasant environment consists of multiple factors. What Libraries Can Learn from Bookstores discusses important “retail atmospherics” such as smell, music, lighting, and layout.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Librarian Exchange
Powerful learning transpires from stepping outside of your comfort zone, and interrupting your daily work routine can certainly be out of the ordinary. Gain the gift of a broader view of yourself and your work by tapping into exchange programs:
If international travel isn’t within your means, or just isn’t for you, try exploring national and local exchange opportunities. It’s amazing how even different libraries in the same regional system can vary dramatically in processes. Happy travels!
Last Week’s Poll Results: Databases: Get the Word Out
Do you call them research tools, databases, or e-sources? Are they organized by subject area or alphabetized by database name? No matter how your library provides these services, advertising their presence is critical to increasing usage.
Word of mouth through individual interactions is certainly a great way to acquaint patrons with e-sources, but a supplemental introductory workshop can take it one step further. Organize classes according to user group, such as high school students or Spanish-speakers, or by database topic, such as genealogy or medicine.
Begin with refining your existing skills:
Create training workshops:
Developing Computer Classes for Patrons is a must-read for developing a winning curriculum for technical training. Featured in this thoughtful compilation of resources are two discussion board topics:
Last Week’s Poll Results: Keep Your Cookbooks Handy
The cookbook metaphor is an excellent idea for aggregating best practices into a practical and effective format. Pick and choose what ideas are best for your library in the same manner that kitchen recipes can be customized to fit unique needs based on resources, time, and experience.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Ethics in Librarianship
When making a decision on the job, how do you know you’re choosing the most ethical option? Does your library consider the ethical ramifications of certain policies and procedures? Although different branches of librarianship have specialized codes, ALA’s Code of Ethics is an inspiring framework that applies to our discipline as a whole.
When we think in terms of such topics as the digital divide, information literacy, and equity of access, operating from an ethical governance emerges as paramount for the field of library science. WebJunction offers two courses in ethics as applied to work practices:
What does ethical librarianship mean to you? WebJunction would like to hear your view, just email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.
Last Week’s Poll Results: Providing Access to Technology