Format: Self-paced Course
Developed by: LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems
Length: 1 hour

Web-based, or virtual reference has rapidly become a standard patron service offered by many public libraries. It uses the tools of the internet to extend traditional reference service to the point of need, bringing the service to patron rather than requiring the patron to come in to the library.

Basic Web-based Reference will help the learner to provide basic web-based reference service involving e-mail and chat. The course addresses the advantages and disadvantages of online reference, gives step-by-step guidance, and provides tips and resources.

Format: Self-paced Course
Developed with: Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Length: 2 hours

Through a series of small projects and collaborative efforts, Douglas County (CO) librarians explored a new dimension of modern reference service, one that places their expertise at points of need outside of the library to respond to the questions the public didn’t take to the library.

By reaching out to their community and building new relationships, they are raising awareness about the reference services of the public library and learning more about the range of information local businesses and community members really need.

Join us as we step away from the desk and…

  • Explore new approaches to reference services that place public librarians directly in the community, answering questions at the point of need and growing community connections.
  • Discover possible outcomes and impacts of embedding library staff in direct projects supporting community businesses and organizations.
  • Identify your expertise. Identify new ways to place your expertise at points of need to respond to the questions the public does not typically take to the library.
  • Consider change. Consider new ways to adjust to this change and the opportunities for personal and professional growth that are possible for all staff within your library.

Course Design:
Based on a webinar originally presented by Jamie LaRue, Colbe Galston, and Amy Long and designed by WebJunction

Format: Self-paced Course
Developed by: LibraryU, a program of the Illinois State Library and the regional library systems
Length: 1 hour

Patrons are overwhelmed by the hundreds of new titles every year added to the thousands already on the shelves. Browsing the shelves is a frustrating exercise. Readers advisory services provides patrons with the help they need to find books they will enjoy, and helps the library retain active patrons.

This introduction to public library readers' advisory services to adults includes the readers' advisory interview, marketing readers' advisory services, promoting fiction, and finding aids. In this course you will learn how to identify what it is in genre fiction that appeals to a reader, how best to get them to articulate that appeal, what books to suggest to the reader, and how to promote the different kinds of genre fiction in a public library.

A chapter titled "Difficult Aspects of a Readers' Advisory Interview" provides tricks of the trade for keeping up with the rapidly changing world of genre fiction. This course provides an excellent opportunity for increasing skills in this vital area of public library service.

Format: Self-paced Course
Developed by: PALS Development Team – Florida State University
Length: 4 hours

Whether you knew it at the time or not, you have likely interacted with or assisted a library user with autism, as it is the fastest growing disability. This course, designed by experts in both the library and autism fields, is a series of four independent, self-paced instructional modules that are intended for librarians and library staff to learn how to better serve their users on the autism spectrum.

The modules are:

  • About Autism in the Library
  • Arranging the Library Environment
  • Communicating with Individuals with Autism
  • Interacting with Technology

Research-based checklists, examples of materials, tip sheets, lists, templates, and additional resources are included throughout the course to assist you to implement best practices in your unique library setting.