Library 101: What You Need to Know to Provide Good Library Service in the 21st Century (online learning course)
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
January 17, 2006 - Februray 13, 2006
This course is aimed at new library staff and paraprofessionals without formal training in library science. It will answer basic questions about the kinds of fundamental library issues that can quickly turn into hot topics: staff rights and responsibilities, user access and fees for service, book selection and censorship, library funding and outsourcing, and reader privacy.
You will receive a basic exposure to library concepts, ethics and principles, with an emphasis on their practical application in real-life situations. For example, how would you respond to parents who ask to see what titles their children have checked out? You'll learn what to do and what not to do and why. Understanding the thinking behind library procedures will help you provide better service and enjoy your work more fully.
Workshop Description: This four-week online learning course will provide understandable explanations of essential library principles. Through individual and group exercises, you will have the opportunity to apply what you learn and discuss thorny situations with the instructor and other students. The instructor will also review key documents such as the Library Bill of Rights, with ample opportunities to discover how these fundamental concepts function in the local library setting and add value to the community's experience of the library.
During the course, you will be doing exercises and taking quizzes. You will also participate in online discussion forums as part of the online learning process.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Module One: Follow the Money: Library Funding, Governance
- Overview of legal framework for providing library service in California
- Governing structures (i.e. who does the library director ultimately report to?)
- Funding sources, including sales tax, bond measures
- Budget cutbacks
- Module Two: Who really runs the library? Internal Library Organization and Library Services
- Internal organizational structure
- Management responsibilities
- Library services books and beyond
- Patron policies
- Module Three: Professional Ethics User Privacy
- ALA Code of Ethics / Library Bill of Rights
- Censorship cases
- Internet filters and the law
- Patriot Act
- California library privacy law
- Search warrant procedures
- Module Four: Access to Information and Future Trends
- Joint use facilities
- Fees for service
- Disability access
- Online services e.g. databases, virtual reference, ebooks, blogs
- Retirement of librarians and implications for non-MLS staff
Online Learning Details: This four-week course will be taught online using the web. When you register, you will receive a registration confirmation, which will include the URL to get to the course, as well as a username and password.
Every student proceeds through the online learning modules at his or her own pace. However, students should expect to commit to spending a minimum of 2 to 2½ hours per week on this course in order to be successful. You can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night. However, you will be expected to log in to the course each week to do that week's assignment. We ask that you log in sometime during the first week of the course to begin the course work.
Your instructor will be available for limited consultation support for two weeks after the official end date of a course, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that, to give those who have fallen behind time to work independently on the course. However, you will be expected to accomplish the majority of the course in synchronization with your peers during the first four weeks.
Who Should Take This Course: This course is aimed at paraprofessional staff in public libraries, especially those working alongside librarians and/or in library associate positions. However, anyone in California libraries who wishes to build a foundation in the area of basic library principles and practice may register for this course.
Prerequisites: This course is taught over the web. You must:
- Have an Internet connection and Internet Explorer 5 or higher (some of the quiz functions do not work properly in Netscape).
- Be able to save Microsoft Word .docs or Adobe .pdf files to your computer and print them out. (For .doc files, a free Word Viewer is available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/search.aspx?displaylang=en. Search for "Word Viewer." For .pdf files, a free Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html).
- Be comfortable navigating on the web and navigating back and forward on a website that uses frames.
If you are not comfortable with any of the above, please consider taking this course with a colleague who does meet these requirements.
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on January 17, 2006.