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A-Z Training for Your Library Team

The programs described below were offered during the A-Z Program in 2020.

The eight programs in the 2020 series are each an hour in length and designed for library specialists in all types and sizes of libraries. All webinars in the A-Z series are updated annually and provide participants with a rich, visual PowerPoint and a presentation handout for libraries to personalize to meet their needs.

Children’s and Youth Services

Whether you are serving in a school, public, or hybrid library setting, keeping up with children’s and youth services is daunting. In addition, to complicate matters for many, academic libraries in today’s higher ed environment serve youth in early college and dual credit programs and these library staff often find themselves assisting patrons as young as twelve years old.

In addressing children’s and youth work, one needs to begin by realizing that these positions have core, advanced and unique roles and responsibilities, competencies and attributes required of them and – as any patron group or client – their service population has changing needs, trends in service and classics of programs and services. This population also has additional primary and secondary populations which add to the complexity, including immediate families, individual family members (some of whom are children themselves) grandparents – who are sometimes immediate in the supervision process- caregivers, and teachers.

This webinar will include:

  • Definitions of positions with the myriad of names and titles for library workers providing services for children, competency sets required, attributes needed, and roles and responsibilities
  • Issues in communicating successfully with these patrons, their parents, and caregivers
  • Legal issues
  • Dealing with difficult situations
  • Policies and procedures critical to success, and
  • Trends/what’s next?

Whether or not you work directly with children and youth, are secondarily responsible for age-level services or only an age level of the population, work with these patrons when children’s and youth workers are present or work solely with secondary populations (teachers, caregivers seeking assistance as adults,) this training will provide updated content to use for training library employees now, seeking new employees, or training managers of these workers or working with volunteers.

Collection Development for Library Specialists

Ensuring collections are selected, acquired, categorized and maintained takes a village! Library collections (print, non-print digital/media, realia – teaching and learning, realia – recreation/leisure, equipment, software, maker kits, etc.) provide rich opportunities for support roles and responsibilities in all types of libraries. Join us for content and discussion of these roles and responsibilities which include not only the practical processes behind library collections (ex. acquiring and maintaining,) but also the intellectual processes of building, delivering and maintaining a resource/materials collection for meeting the needs of the institution’s constituents.

Introduction to Project Management

Project management skills are great additions to any resume. Learn to identify and select project templates, designs, timelines, strategies, and techniques. A typical project will be used as an example.

Keeping Up with Trends

Every library requires that all of their employees keep up with the technology in the library—both hardware and software. But libraries 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 will offer diverse ways to keep up with your library’s changes so that you can stay current and relevant.

Past AZ Webinars

January 14, 2020
Prevention, Handling, and Post-Response: Dealing with Difficult Situations

All employees in workplace settings must be able to deal with difficult situations. In today’s environments these situations can include dealing with infractions and enforcement of guidelines, rules, standards or the law; misunderstandings between or among patrons; situations between or among employees and patrons; issues between and among employees; situations between or among managers and employees; and events or activities located in or around the facilities or services. Situations can also occur in person, online, over the phone and through print/paper exchanges – but most importantly and no matter the cause or reason – are dreaded and are among the most difficult moments in organizations today.

Join us in this webinar to understand why these situations happen (all too often) in libraries, why employees hate dealing with them (beyond the obvious!) and the breadth of these issues. Learn how you can plan for difficult situations, how to deal with them when they arise, then how to turn them into – if needed – teachable moments post activity.

December 10, 2019
Critical Aspects of Communication in Today’s Workplace

Whether you are out in front with your users or in the back office with coworkers, you must know how to communicate accurately and appropriately. We will review: How to actively listen, How to manage avalanches of messages; And, How to use each of several different communication styles.

Following the A to Z webinar attendees will:

  1. Be familiar with communication in today’s organizations/workspaces
  2. Be aware of the wide variety of communication issues in contemporary workplace settings
  3. Value the importance of being a skilled, positive communicator and aware of the competencies and competency levels of basic and advanced communicators in the workplace
  4. Have a basic understanding of effective communication techniques for the most successful delivery of information/data, general content and opinion the workplace
  5. Be aware of the importance of integrating elements of communication into library worker, department and team or committee or workgroup job descriptions and specific roles and responsibilities
  6. Learn how to manage incoming and outgoing communication
  7. Be aware of the variety of communication styles managers use in organizations/the workplace
  8. Be familiar with the importance of and basic elements of workplace communication plans
  9. Value and understand how to integrate ten communication tips into workplace settings

November 20, 2019
Supervising, Managing, and Leading for Library Specialists

Libraries represent all sizes and types of institutions and we all know that the size of the library building doesn’t always dictate the number of staff members we have or the number of staff members we need. Because there are (really!) no/few libraries that are staffed with as many people as they need, we find ourselves and our staff members with multiple roles and responsibilities and – often – overlapping jobs. In addition, different libraries identify roles and responsibilities differently – that is – in some libraries have staff members supervise/manage functions and departments, and some libraries assign roles of coordination. In addition, other terms used to describe what people do in the workplace today as: facilitate, process own/process ownership and – of course – lead. Also:

  • there are more people coordinating than managing/supervising and this means that few or often just one manager is responsible for supervision or management but others coordinate (Note: the HR definition of managing or supervising people includes “signing timesheets;”)
  • many staff have mixed roles and manage some workers while coordinating other workers;
  • we can and should find leaders at every level;
  • many functions are temporary or project or event based rather than permanent roles;
  • we often find managers/supervisors manage/supervise far more people than is reasonable or equitable;
  • library workers need to learn about these different areas even if they are not in these roles as workers have roles and responsibilities – as well – to make their managers, supervisors, etc. successful;
  • many position descriptions do not accurately reflect what people “do;”

and, most importantly,

  • library staff may find themselves responsible for coordinating, supervising, or managing other workers with little or no training. Webinar attendees Discover the differences in these levels of oversight as well as the differences between management and leadership. Learn how to build your skillset toward the roles you want, and how to find best practices for your situation.

September 25, 2019
The Big Picture: Crucial Roles for Library Specialists in 2020

Future workshops (typically one per month) include:

  • Communication in the Workplace
  • Dealing with Difficult Situations
  • Children’s Services for Library Specialists
  • Collection Development for Library Specialists
  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Keeping Up with Trends

A-Z: Essential Training for Your Library Team is a comprehensive program which explores the roles and responsibilities for library staff, including new librarians, library assistants, library clerks, prospective librarians, etc. These sessions include a broad overview of institutions as well as the basic processes, with particular attention to the key job functions, governing principles, and the tenets of professionalism for all library staff, including ethical work practices (such as confidentiality, privacy, and documentation).

Handouts include seminar content (including slides), as well as recommendations on how to integrate the A-Z training in staff orientations and suggestions for additional resources or online 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. All sessions carry 1 hour of continuing education credit from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the State Board of Educator Certification (provider #500383).

About the 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 a past president of the American Library Association. She 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).


Individual TLA Member Individual Non-Member Group Rate (unlimited staff)
FREE $25 per webinar $500 for entire series*

*The group rate allows an unlimited number of staff registrations for the entire 8-month series for a flat fee of $500.

Payment may be made by check or credit card.

Is the group rate per webinar, or for all the webinars in the series?

The group rate is for the entire 16-webinar entire series. For $500, your entire staff can participate in all 16 webinars for no additional charge. Please keep in mind that all webinars are recorded, so employees can view them on demand after the original presentation.

If I’m in a larger district, can I include staff from other libraries in my district in my group rate?

This question usually applies to school districts or community college districts. It depends on how your budget is done. If you function as a branch library under one large budget, then yes, you may use the group rate for staff from all over your district. If you function as an independent library that happens to be allied with others, as in a consortium, then each library would pay a separate group rate for its own employees.

If I use the group rate, how do I register my staff for the program?

Individual registration uses the web site, but group registration is done with assistance from TLA staff. Registration Coordinator Christy Reynolds (512.328.1518 x153) can help you create a spreadsheet with the needed information, which he will then add to our system.

Is attendance limited to library support staff?

No, anyone can sign up for these webinars. They are primarily aimed at employees who do not have a library degree, and who are not in specifically named “librarian” positions. Examples will be drawn from support staff duties, but some of the webinars are general (such as “Working With Volunteers”). Again, if you use the group rate for a given webinar, any number of staff may attend that program.

Can I pay for all the registrations at once?

Yes, contact Catherine Lapoint at the TLA office, 512.328.1518 x155. Payment can be made by credit card, by check, or by electronic check.

Can P.O.s (Purchase Orders) be used to pay for the webinars?

No, TLA does not offer POs.

Will the webinars be recorded?

Yes, all webinars will be recorded. A link to the recording will be sent to everyone who registers, along with other class materials. If someone is unable to attend the live presentation, they can still get full Continuing Education credit for the webinar by answering a short quiz within the year (if the recording is watched as a group in a classroom, a sign-in sheet can take the place of the quizzes).

Can staff attend the webinars at their individual computers, or do they have to all be in one location?

Participants can attend the online programs from their individual desktops, or if they wish, they can also participate from one location such as a classroom. If the latter, we request that everyone sign in on a piece of paper, which can then be mailed to TLA (or scanned and sent to TLA electronically). Either method of participation works.

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