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Continuing Education Resources for Library Staff

Free Online Learning Resources

Training resources from the State Library of Oregon are supported in whole by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act administered by the State Library of Oregon.
The following resources are available to staff, volunteers, and board members from all Oregon academic, public, school, and tribal libraries.

Training Calendar

View upcoming training events related to services and programs offered by the State Library of Oregon and free online training events as compiled by the State Library of Wyoming in the new training calendar. New events are added weekly and online conferences are listed below the calendar.

Basic Library Skills Academy

The State Library is pleased to announce the new Basic Library Skills academy -- open and free to everyone. This new academy covers introductory level tutorials and webinars on collection development, technical services, public programming and services, and more. Directors can use this resource to help onboard new staff and volunteers; staff can learn more about the overall operations of a library. No registration or user account necessary; however with a user account, Niche Academy will help you pick up where you left off.

New in the Oregon Library Staff Academy (Niche Academy):

Each week, the latest tutorials and recorded webinars are collected in their own category, New Tutorials and Webinars. Highlights include:

And many more can be found in the New Webinars and Tutorials section. 

Need access to Oregon’s Library Staff Academy? Just fill out this form (available to Oregon library staff, volunteers, and board members). Then you can get started here:

Trainings by Ryan Dowd

  • Already registered for the academy? Then you're ready to access it here!
  • Need to register for access? Sign up here!
  • Monthly webinars hosted by Ryan Dowd are free to Oregon all library staff, volunteers, and board members. Please sign-up to receive registration announcements.
  • Recordings of Dowd's monthly webinars are now available in Dowd's academy. Future recordings will be added shortly after the live event. This resource is available to Oregon library staff, volunteers, and board members.


  • ​LYRASIS offers free live webinars, free information sessions, and demonstrations of software and services. ​ 
  • ​Oregon staff can also save on other classes and eventsWhen registering, use these steps:
    1. Click on "Checkout as Non-Member of LYRASIS"
    2. Use your library's address on the registration form
    3. And use OSL22-23 for the Promo Code on the payment page

People Connect Institute (PCI) Webinars

Each Wednesday from 11:00a - 12:00p PT, explore new, relevant topics during a live webinar from People Connect Institute. These webinars will also be recorded and available about one week later in the Oregon Library Staff Academy / PCI Webinars category. For titles and registration information, please visit the PCI Webinars section. This resource is available to Oregon library staff, volunteers, and board members.

Statewide Databases

  • Gale/Cengage is the statewide subscription for magazine/journal/news articles, reference eBooks, statistics, images, audio, and video content); for training resources and more, visit this resource page on Gale/Cengage.
  • EBSCO LearningExpress Library is the statewide subscription for practice tests, skills-building for math, reading, and writing, computer skills tutorials, e-books and career development tools; for training resources and more, visit this resource page on EBSCO LearningExpress Library.

Tech-Talk Newsletter (electronic)

Provides how-to technology,  communications, and leadership tips. While not written specifically for library staff, the State Library regularly receives positive feedback about this service. 

  • Sign up to receive the weekly e-newsletter
  • View archived webinars and attend upcoming webinarsuse username and password near the top of each e-newsletter when prompted
  • Access resources on their website, use username and password near the top of each e-newsletter when prompted.


The following calendar shows free online training events as compiled by the Maine State Library and training events related to services and programs offered by the State Library of Oregon. To see a text version this month's free events listed by category, please visit the WebJunction page on Free Training or download the PDF version. ​Online conferences are listed below the calendar.

Use the drop down arrow next to the Agenda tab to select one or both calendars to view: webinars provided by the State Library of Oregon and the Free Webinars via the Maine State Library.

Online conferences, registration is free unless noted otherwise:

March 6, 7a - 2p: Middle Grade Magic (School Library Journal) Join School Library Journal on March 7th for our sixth annual Middle Grade Magic virtual event, a day-long celebration of authors and creators dedicated to crafting literature for kiddos ages eight through 12. Get a first look at some of the most anticipated new titles for your young readers, from modern coming-of-age tales to eye-popping graphic novels to immersive fantasy. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the virtual exhibit hall, chat directly with authors and reps, download educational resources, and enter to win prizes and giveaways.

March 12-14: 5th Annual Southeast Collaborative Online Conference. Topics during this free, two-day conference include: Navigating Organizational Dynamics: Understanding and Addressing Incivility Within the Library Workplace; Empowering Librarians to Learn and Conquer AI Tools; Recognizing Excellence: Nurturing a Culture of Library Employee Appreciation; Trends and Topics in Readers' Advisory; Building Access for Diverse Voices in Leadership. The full schedule and information about the speakers are now available. The conference will be hosted via Whova which will provide access via the web and mobile apps. Registration is now open
(The 2024 Southeast Collaborative Online Conference is a collective effort by the Georgia Public Library Service, State Library of North Carolina, South Carolina State Library, Tennessee State Library & Archives, and The Library of Virginia to offer innovative and useful online learning experiences for library staff at all levels through a convenient online conference.)

March 13, 9a to 1p PT (10a to 2p MT): LEO and OSU Extension will be hosting a virtual mini-conference focused on Library of Things collections. This mini-con will take place over Zoom, and will feature two keynote speakers and three rounds of breakout sessions organized under an unconference model, covering everything from food preservation and food sovereignty related LOT collections to video games, board games, technology, outdoor equipment, STEM collections, and more. It is free to register and participate in the LOT mini-con — head over to to register. When you register, you'll have the opportunity to share ideas you have for sessions you would like to participate in or lead, and you will receive a Zoom link for access to the mini-conference after registration. As the breakout groups are organized in an unconference style, the LOT mini-con is structured to be a participatory learning environment — your questions and interests will help drive the choice of breakout sessions, and we hope you might be interested in leading a session of your own!

March 24:  AI and Libraries: Applications, Implications, and Possibilities (Library 2.0 / SJSU School of Information)  How has artificial intelligence impacted library services, resources, and work so far? How have libraries responded to these evolving technologies to better support their communities? It's been over a year since generative artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E have been introduced in public spaces and consciousness, but AI has been around long before these tools yet there are still lingering concerns, challenges, and considerations. Join us for this free virtual conference to learn how libraries and library workers are engaging with artificial intelligence tools in their libraries from research support to information literacy to technical services. The conversations held in the conference will address the practical implications of these tools in the profession. Registration is now open; this is a free, live event and it will also be recorded. 



Have a topic you'd like to suggest for a presentation and/or discussion? Please let us knowLooking for recordings from previous Topic Talks? See below the upcoming schedule.


Check back soon for new topics in 2022!


October 27, 2021 - Oregon Job Seekers: Who They Are and How Libraries Can Help

As extended unemployment benefits come to an end this summer, libraries anticipate an increase in the number of job seekers in their communities. This session will provide an overview of Oregon job seekers, focusing on trends and emerging areas of employment as the Oregon economy recovers. It will also present information about the characteristics of current job seekers and provide ideas for designing services to better support this important group of library users.  

Presenters: Liza Morehead, Research & Data Analyst, Worksystems, Inc. (A 501(c)3 non-profit organization that pursues and invests resources to improve the quality of the workforce in the City of Portland, Multnomah and Washington Counties.) Michele Martin, Director of Technical Assistance, Director of New Start Career Network & NJ Career Network Online Job Seeker CommunityJohn J. Heldrich, Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Video recording: Video recording: Niche Academy (with slides, resources, etc.) or YouTube.

October 13, 2021 - Virtual Meet-up with Library Support & Development Services

Meet the Staff! Join your friendly library support staff this hour to hear about who we are and what we're up to. Bring your questions, all are welcome! Hosted by the Library Support staff: Greta Bergquist, Jennifer Cox, Ross Fuqua, Darci Hanning, Jennifer Mauer, Tamara Ottum, Arlene Weible, Ferol Weyand, and Program Manager, Buzzy Nielsen. 

Video recording: YouTube 

July 20, 2021 - Northwest Digital Heritage

Katie Henry (Oregon Heritage Commission), Evan Robb (Washington State Library), and Ross Fuqua (State Library of Oregon) hosted a session (including Q&A) about the new cross-state, interagency partnership, Northwest Digital Heritage. Learn about this new program which seeks to help public libraries and heritage organizations in Oregon build and share their historic and cultural collections broadly through a newly established, regional service hub of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

Video recording: YouTube

March 30, 2021 - Learn all about: Oregon Documents Depository

Jey Wann, Oregon Documents Coordinator, discusses the history of the Oregon Documents Depository Program, describes how to access State Library’s Oregon Documents Collection, and features some interesting, useful, fun, and even wacky, Oregon government publications.

Reference librarian Dave Hegeman covers the many ways Oregon documents can be used to reference, including laws and rules, statistics, and notable reference sources.

Video recording: Niche Academy (with slides, resources, etc.) or YouTube 

March 16, 2021 - County Law Libraries and YOU

Oregon’s county law libraries provide invaluable services to the general public and legal community. They provide specialized legal resources and staff guidance to assist with legal matters and research.

In this session, join Amy Gregory from the Washington County Law Library and Jenny Pedersen from Deschutes Public Library to learn more about Oregon’s law libraries. Amy and Jenny will share examples of services offered by county law libraries, the types of resources available, and how the public can access those services and resources.

Video recording: Niche Academy (with slides, resources, etc.) or YouTube.

January 13, 2021 - Shared Learning: Providing Trauma-Informed Services in Small and Rural Libraries

How can staff in small and rural libraries adopt a trauma-informed approach without access to the resources that a larger library or a library in an urban community may have? That's just what several Oregon librarians set out to learn by participating in a recent Infopeople course, "Providing Trauma-Informed Services in Small and Rural Libraries." Come listen to their take-aways and hopefully leave with some of your own!

Video recording: Niche Academy (with additional resources) or YouTube.

December 9, 2020 - Winning Library Grants: An In-Depth Approach

Ready to learn the best method for writing grant proposals to give you the competitive edge? Discover how to plan and write grant proposals, including the nitty-gritty essentials of needs assessments, project development, and outcome measurement. Find out who gives funding best suited for your library and how to find grant applications (including five free resources for finding grant library funders and a funder’s wish list). Join Stephanie Gerding as she shares common grant proposal components and the top five tips for writing winning proposals. Your grant work will become easier and more effective! Access to the recording is limited to Oregon library staff, volunteers, board members, Friends and foundation members, please request access here.

December 2 - Winning Library Grants: Beginner Tips in 30 Minutes

Are you new to grant writing? Stephanie Gerding’s webinars are known for being practical and easy to understand. Learn the basic process of grant work and the shortcuts that will enable you to start winning grants now. Discover the most important thing to keep in mind when doing library grant work, easy planning steps, grant sources for beginners, and the top ten tips for success. You CAN win grants for your library! Access to the recording is limited to Oregon library staff, volunteers, board members, Friends and foundation members, please request access here.

November 18, 2020 - Library Innovation in COVID Times

Oregon libraries of all types are responding to the challenge of service during COVID times with a wide array of innovative programs and services. Innovation may include new services, but can also mean offering traditional services in different ways. 

State Library staff have been collecting stories and want to celebrate the great work happening in the Oregon library community. In this session, Buzzy Nielsen and Arlene Weible will share examples and help participants connect with other library staff to learn more about how they may implement these ideas in their own community. Please come and share your own innovation stories or just listen and gain inspiration from your library colleagues across the state.

Video recording: YouTube or Niche Academy; download presentation (with embedded links) 

October 20, 2021 - Virtual Programming Meetup  

Have you been working to maintain connections to your community virtually? Would you like some ideas and strategies?  This recorded session has your colleagues taking virtual programming in a variety of directions. From digital rooms to recorded demos, staff are working to help community members feel connected to the library in tangible ways. Each panelist briefly shared about a virtual strategy their library is using and there and at the end of the session, audience members were able to share their own endeavors and ask questions. Greta Bergquist moderated. 


  • Carrie Bushman, Cook Memorial Public Library
  • Emily West, North Plains Public Library
  • Jolene Hall, Independence Public Library
  • Marian Rose, Seaside Public Library 

Video recording: YouTube or Niche Academy (with supporting resources)

September 29, 2020 - Virtual Meet-up with Library Support & Development Services

This is your chance to learn more about Library Support & Development Services and what we can do for your library. Hosted by the Library Support staff: Greta Bergquist, Ross Fuqua, Darci Hanning, Jennifer Mauer, Tamara Ottum, Arlene Weible, Ferol Weyand, and our new Program Manager, Buzzy Nielsen. Library Support provides services for all types of libraries in Oregon: academic, law, public, school, tribal, you name it! We will take a bit of time introducing you to our services and leave plenty of time for your questions. This session is useful to any library worker or supporter who’s interested in learning more about the State Library’s free services available to help make local libraries’ lives easier.

Video recording. Library Support and Development Services website. Contact Us web page.

August 7, 2020 - In partnership with OLA's Public Library Division: "Centering Race in Library Reopening: Opportunities for Systems Change".

Sonja Ervin, Equity and Inclusion Manager at Multnomah County Library, will talk about the work and progress Multnomah County Library has made with diversity, equity, and inclusion. She will also include things you can do at your library, no matter the size of your library. There will be time for questions and answers after her presentation. This presentation is free for all in the library community, and will be recorded for viewing at a later date.

Video recording (hosted in Niche Academy, no login in required) and the Presentation slides (PDF)

June 17, 2020: PL stats (COVID-specific) - an update

June 10, 2020: Check-In: How's It Going?

June 3, 2020: Unemployment and job-seeking services

May 27, 2020: Having difficult conversations with patrons

May 20, 2020: Reference during the pandemic: challenges and opportunities

May 13, 2020: Reopening Oregon (Governor’s Plan) and Libraries

May 6, 2020: Statistics - how to capture our work during the pandemic

April 29, 2020: Staging a return to library services: planning for a post-quarantine library

April 22, 2020: Services for Spanish speakers during COVID-19

PCI (People Connect Institute) Webinars

Each Wednesday from 11:00a - 12:00p PT, explore new, relevant topics during a live webinar from People Connect Institute. These webinars will also be recorded and available a few days later in the Oregon Library Staff Academy / PCI Webinars category. 

Request your registration links for these upcoming webinars. Note: all PCI Webinars (live and recorded) are limited to Oregon library staff, volunteers, board members, Friend and Foundation members.




March 6: (90 mins) Providing Accommodations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patrons in Your Library 

This session unpacks the legal requirements for communication access under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and provides a guide to effective use of accommodations such as interpreters, captioning, front-line communication techniques, and more. We’ll also cover easy and inexpensive solutions that can be used by library staff at all levels. At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe their library's legal requirements for providing communication access
  • Name at least accommodations that can be deployed by staff at all levels
  • List three (3) factors to consider when communicating through an interpreter

Presenter: Kathy MacMillan (she/her) is an American Sign Language interpreter, instructor, consultant, writer and signing storyteller. She holds National Interpreter Certification (NIC) from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Kathy is the author of the Little Hands Signing board book series (Familius Press) and Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Hands Up Press), as well as many other books for children, teens, and adults. She has worked in school and public libraries for over 25 years, and has trained thousands of library staff members on serving the Deaf community, signing in storytime, and engaging programming techniques. Kathy holds a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of English from the Catholic University of America, and a Certificate of American Sign Language Interpreting from the Community College of Baltimore County. She lives in Baltimore, MD.

March 13: An Introduction to Passive Readers’ Advisory 

Readers’ Advisory is not always face to face or in real time . . . Some patrons will not ask for help while in the library or want to start their search at home. For these reasons and because it’s not possible to reach everyone for one-on-one help, a robust program of passive readers advisory can fill in the gap.

Join Passive Readers’ Advisory expert Lila Denning for an hour of all the ways that you can help patrons find their next great read with passive readers’ advisory tools such as book displays, bookmarks, shelf talkers and lists. You will learn the features that both guide patrons with specific needs and wants while also marketing your collection. She will also show you how to design social media posts and online lists of your physical and digital collection that will be a guide for patrons seeking help with a particular genre or subject.  Attendees will learn how to:

  • Understand what Readers’ Advisory is as well as how Passive Readers’ Advisory differs from active readers advisory
  • Identify best practices for creating Passive Readers’ Advisory tools for patrons, both online and offline
  • Discover some ideas for how to market every part of your collection using Passive Readers’ Advisory
  • Learn where to find ideas to inspire your Passive Readers’ Advisory efforts

Presenter: Lila Denning is a librarian in Florida specializing in Passive Readers’ Advisory for patrons of all ages. She is the acquisitions coordinator for the St. Petersburg Library System and has worked in circulation, reference, and youth services. She serves as the volunteer coordinator for the Horror Writers of America. You can find her on Twitter @Vantine and on BlueSky On her blog,, she talks about ideas for book displays and other forms of Passive Readers’ Advisory and how to best use it to serve your patrons.

March 20: Circulation Desk Spanish 

Would you like to be able to say a few phrases in Spanish to help Spanish-speakers feel welcome? In this webinar, you will learn some basic vocabulary to greet patrons, discuss various components of circulation, such as check-in and checkout, that will get Spanish-speakers started using the library. As a result of attending, participants will be able to:

  • Greet patrons in Spanish
  • Answer directional questions that will help Spanish-speakers get started using the library
  • Refer patrons to someone who does speak Spanish for more in-depth questions

This program is part of PCI’s collaborative learning project with California Libraries. (CALL).

Presenter: A librarian for over 30 years, Ana-Elba Pavon has worked at public libraries throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, South San Francisco, San Mateo City and County, and Oakland. A Spanish-Services and Children's Specialist, she has provided service to a wide variety of populations of all ages in English and Spanish.Programming has been one of Ana’s fortes, and she co-authored a book about children's crafts and related programming. Ana has taught Spanish for Non-Spanish Speaking Library Staff at the Oakland Public Library, is active in REFORMA, having served as its National President, and is an Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

March 27: Happiness at Work 

Happiness, a wonderful and elusive emotion linked to a better quality of living can be developed. Being happy changes your thoughts and emotions which ultimately changes your behaviors. Happy people are more fun to be around, tend to be healthier, and more productive! In this lighthearted look at happiness discover the science of happiness, the health benefits, and specific ways to boost happiness while being mindful of the conundrum that directly pursuing happiness can backfire and leave us less happy. This program will explore:

  • The science of happiness 
  • Steps you can take to become happier 
  • Ways you can help others become happier 

Presenter: Laura Greco, RN, MEd is a certified wellness coach and speaker who facilitates learning and changing habits. She helps professionals eliminate burnout, manage stress, create life balance, and rekindle their sense of purpose and joy. Self-care (body, mind, and spirit) is the basis for well-being and we all have the capacity to make positive lifestyle changes are 2 of her foundational beliefs.

April 3: The Best Folk and Fairy Tale Picture Books for Preschoolers  

Join us for an exploration of the latest and greatest folk and fairy tale picture books designed for ages 3 to 6. Discover timeless tales with a twist, books featuring captivating illustrations, stories that celebrate culture, and explore the educational value of folk and fairy tales for preschoolers. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your journey in early childhood education or librarianship, this presentation will equip you with a treasure trove of enchanting books to create memorable reading experiences with children.

Presenter: Katie Clausen is the Early Literacy Services Manager at Gail Borden Public Library. She completed her MLIS from Dominican University and holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature from Simmons College. She has presented at the Illinois Library Association’s Annual Conferences, ALSC Institute, Opening Minds Early Childhood Conference, and the National Network of Medical Libraries (NNLM). Check out Katie’s articles in the ILA Reporter and Children & Libraries: The Journal of ALSC. Katie's specialties include: early literacy, children’s literature evaluation, play-based learning, and best story time practices.

April 10: Perspectives of Value: Using Language to Change Perceived Value of the Library   

Libraries have been misunderstood and devalued throughout its history, impacting budgets and stakeholder support. Library’s themselves must reframe their thought process in representing the library and speak other people’s language to provide better understanding of what libraries do. To change perspective of value, one has to learn tactics to change minds. This webinar will discuss how language is used and how it can change the value of the library by retraining word choice and learn how to advocate for your library. As a result of this program, attendees will:

  • Define the value of the library in layman's terms through teaching
  • Identify differences of persuasion, argument, and presentation
  • Understand terms and storytelling methods that bring credibility and humanity
  • Become well versed in recognizing boundaries and consequences

Presenter: Jennifer Blair is the Head of User Services Librarian and Associate Professor at Azusa Pacific University (APU). Her role is dedicated to the user experience, including marketing the library, and teaching. She has extensive experience teaching online courses in design and computer literacy. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Graphic Design, a M.A in Education with an emphasis in Educational Multimedia, and a M.S. in Library and Information Studies. 
Her experience in academic and public libraries as well as work experience in art and design allow her to employ visionary strategies to enrich progress and enhance advancement for students.

April 17: Storytime for All: An Introduction to Inclusive Best Practices 

This webinar will focus on incorporating simple yet effective strategies into your storytime routine to expand your reach and connect with your community. By bringing inclusion practices into your program, you can create a welcoming environment through basic enhancements that will benefit learners of all kinds and abilities.  During this webinar, you will learn:

  • Why inclusion-based practices benefit all storytime participants 
  • How to modify or adapt a current storytime to fit diverse needs 
  • How to identify developmentally appropriate activities, such as books, songs, and rhymes, to incorporate into a storytime program 

Presenter: Amanda Choi is a librarian at Diablo Valley College, San Ramon Campus. She began her library career at San Jose Public Library where she developed a deep interest in storytime and early literacy. She now teaches classes on storytime for DVC’s Library Technology program and San Jose State University's School of Information. She holds an MLIS from San José State University and an MA in English Literature from the University of New Mexico.

Presenter: Nari Ferderer is the Early Literacy Librarian at the San José Public Library. Since presenting her first storytime, Narineh has made supporting early childhood literacy a central focus of her career, working to bridge the gaps in education, experience, and opportunity in her community. Currently working in the Early Education Department, Narineh can implement ideas and models from the Early Learning for Families (ELF) Initiative and the Brazelton Touchpoints Center to strengthen the relationship between the library and the community.

April 24:  Teen Behavior in the Library: Managing this (sometimes-challenging) developmental stage  

Teen Behavior in the Library: Managing this (sometimes-challenging) developmental stage
Teens are going through a lot developmentally: puberty, social comparison, familial and cultural pressures. Sometimes they take that transitional stress to your library. Managing behaviors and expectations, while making the library a welcoming place is a tough line to walk. But understanding the why of this teen behavior is a start. In this program you'll learn about:

  • Puberty and biological change in teens
  • Cultural and societal pressures on teens
  • Online pressures on teens
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Tips for communicating with teens
  • Suggestions on policies on teen behavior in the library 

Presenter: Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is the founder and CEO of Digital Respons-Ability, a mission-based company that educates tens of thousands of students, parents and teachers through in-person and online courses across the country. She has written two books for librarians around adolescents: Teen Fandom and Geek Programming: a Practical Guide for Librarians and the ALA-award winning Serving Teens and Adults and the Autism Spectrum: a Guide for Libraries and continues to work with teens.

PCI (People Connect Institute) Webinars - Archived

Recorded webinars are available to staff, volunteers, board members, Friend and Foundation members of Oregon libraries through the Oregon Library Staff Academy. Need access? Please use this request form and select "I would like access to: The Oregon Library Staff Academy".

February 2024

January 2024

December 2023


From the OLA EDI and Antiracism Special Committee:  

EDI Antiracism Toolkit Now Available:

PLD Director's Training Session on the EDI Antiracism Toolkit, recorded on 1/29/21 (YouTube, approximately 2 1/4 hours).

Be sure to visit the OLA EDI Antiracism Committee web page.