A to Z: Diverse and In-Depth Training for Library Support Staff

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You spoke, we listened! Based on input from libraries, the A-Z program has been expanded with new content to meet the needs of support staff.

A to Z: Diverse and In-Depth Training for Library Support Staff is a comprehensive program designed to enhance the skills of library employees who serve in circulation, reference, and technical services.

The webinars include sessions on dealing with difficult customers, communication skills, supervision, cataloging, basic reference, electronic resources, children’s services, volunteer coordination, and project management.

Anyone who takes the three core classes and two electives will receive a special certificate in Library Support Staff Training. Past programs are always available for purchase in archived form - a participant may watch the recorded version, then pass a short quiz for full credit.


Instructor Julie Todaro is a nationally-known speaker on library management and leadership. She is a past president of the Texas Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries, and is currently President Elect of the American Library Association. She recently co-chaired the national summit on Libraries of the Future. She has written several books, most lately Library Management for the Digital Age: A New Paradigm (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

(Required webinars include all 3 core classes, and at least 2 elective classes.  Email Ted Wanner for webinar access or additional information.)

One 1-hour webinar will be held each month except for November 2016. Registration is open for most webinars now. Some webinars will be scheduled later to best fit the needs of attendees. Individual registration fees will be $25 for TLA members, $45 for nonmembers (see below for group rate information).

A special group rate per webinar is available for libraries to register multiple people for a flat fee. The fee is based on the service population (for public libraries) or operating expenditures (for academic libraries):

For Public Libraries (per the Texas State Library and Archives Commission data on population served)
Over 200,001 served               $225 for any number of staff in one webinar
80,001 to 200,000 served        $175
12,001 to 80,000 served          $125
Up to 12,000 served                 $85

For Academic Libraries (per the Texas Council of Academic Libraries dues divisions)
$10,000,000 and above            $225 for any number of staff in one webinar
$1,000,000 to $9,999,999         $175
$500,000 to $999,999              $125
$499,999 and below                  $85

For School Libraries (per the University Interscholastic League classifications)
6A 2100 students and above     $225 for any number of staff in one webinar
5A 1060-2099 students            $175
4A 465-1059 students              $125
1A-3A Up to 464 students          $85

Group registrations must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the webinar. Payment may be made by credit card or check (TLA Institutional Members may also pay by Purchase Order).

Click here to review the Frequently Asked Questions


Core classes

More of the Big Picture:  How Did We GET Here? (September 20, 2016, 1pm CST)
This program explores the roles and responsibilities for non-librarians (library assistants, associates, clerks, etc.) in a 21st Century library. The session includes a broad overview of institutions as well as the basic processes, with particular attention to the key job functions, governing principles and professionalism/legal issues in work practices (such as confidentiality and documentation).

Dealing with Even More Difficult Situations
(October 6, 2016, 1pm CST)
This program features advanced customer service training (frontline and behind the scenes) including types and levels of service, scripts for consistency and training, coping with difficult situations (conflicts with patrons, coworkers, bosses) and articulated behavioral expectations. 

Getting Along with Co-Workers (December 8, 2016, 1pm CST)
One of the most common and well-used tools for identifying and designing policies, processes and techniques for working with others is Julie Todaro's "Reasonable Expectation of Adult Behavior." Webinar content will include templates for creating your library's own "Expectation" document.


Keeping Up with Trends (January 11, 2017, 1pm CST)
Every library requires that all of their library employees "keep up" with the technology in the library - both hardware and software.  But libraries are "changing" and - in fact - they are constantly changing! It is critical that library employees work with their managers to determine WHAT they need to keep up with and how that might happen.  This webinar content will offer diverse ways to keep up with their library's changes and their profession so that they can stay current and relevant.  

The Role of Support Staff in Community Partnerships (February 16, 2017, 1pm CST)
Strategic partnerships with nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental organizations is a hot topic in libraries now, with benefits for programming, collection development, and library instruction. Learn how support staff can help libraries offer better services by connecting to other institutions.  

The Most Unique Services in Today's Libraries (March 30, 2017, 1pm CST)
Although our libraries have similar services for today's constituents, there are a wide variety of very different services - some that meet local needs and some that are just unusual and represent very different ideas for serving constituents! Coupon exchanges, borrowing small pets, pattern giveaways, tool checkout, circulating artwork - are long time, well-used services but libraries are making way for circulating bicycles, WIFI-unit checkouts, self-publishing, business spaces to check out, intermittent access to buses outfitted for showers for the homeless and even more unusual services!  

Mentoring (April 4, 2017, 1pm CST)
What is mentoring?  What role does mentoring play in support staff education and training?  Does mentoring substitute for orientation and training?  Continuing education?  Development?  How does it differ from shadowing?  What mentor programs exist for all levels of library employees?  

The Role of Support Staff in Collection Development (May 18, 2017, 1pm CDT)
In many libraries, support staff assist in the purchasing of materials. This program discusses the practical processes of selection and purchasing, as well as the reasons why libraries build their collections in certain ways.  

You Can Coordinate Others but Can You Lead Them? (June 13, 2017, 1pm CDT)
We've learned in our last series how to supervise, coordinate and manage others.  And while these are always the most necessary management tools, learning to lead is critical to both leader and follower employee success in libraries.  This webinar will articulate the differences among supervising, coordinating, managing and leading and the role that leadership plays in libraries among all levels of employees and library workers.  

Beyond Dewey: Diverse Ways of Organizing Information in Libraries (July 13, 2017, 1pm CDT)
The vast majority of public libraries use the Dewey Decimal system to organize their materials and information in general. A very few libraries use the academic or more in-depth organization - the Library of Congress system and in many libraries, some materials are organized to meet user needs. What are the differences and what are the other ways that exist for organizing content?  

Beyond Introduction: Designing and Managing Projects (August 10, 2017, 1pm CDT)
The webinar is designed to illustrate how a project is built, how a timeline is created, what roles and responsibilities for all levels of employees are, how strategies are determined - "live."  


All webinars will be recorded. Participants who register for a webinar but miss the live 1-hour webcast may still obtain Continuing Education credit by viewing the archived webinar and correctly answering a short quiz. Both the recording and quiz will be sent to everyone who registers.

Back to Continuing Education Home Page

Created on Dec 1, 2014 | Last updated February 23, 2017