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Professional Development Resources for Librarians: American Library Association (ALA)

At Home Learners and the Public Library

At Home Learners and the Public Library, Monday, May 6, 2024 


The public library is traditionally the home educator's biggest resource. It is essential to foster valuable relationships with all members of the community and that libraries and librarians are responsive to the growing number of parent educators and homeschooled youth. In this five-week online course, you will learn how to identify and connect with homeschool families; explore the various methods of homeschooling; discover your state's legalities around homeschooling; understanding the importance of the library to the home educated; and develop a program plan specifically for homeschooled youth in your community. 

By participating in this course, learners will:

  • identify and connect with local homeschooling families.
  • understand the importance of public libraries to homeschooling families.
  • develop a program plan for homeschool youth.

Christina Caputo is the Knowledge Services Manager at Forefront. She previously worked as the Kids’ World Librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library. She began her professional career in 2002 as a high school art teacher and has over 20 years of experience working with youth 0-18. Join the conversation at Librarians Serving Homeschool (LSH) on Facebook.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.

Serving Deaf Patrons

Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library April 10-11, 2024


A two-part webinar series taking place on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 12:30pm MT.

Library services are for everyone, and that includes the deaf community. In this workshop, Kathy MacMillan, librarian and certified American Sign Language interpreter, guides you in making your library a more welcoming place for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. You will gain an understanding of Deaf culture, learn library-related signs, and become prepared to confidently work with interpreters for your programs.

After participating in this workshop, you will have:

  • An understanding of how to meet your library’s legal obligation to serve deaf and hard of hearing patrons
  • Strategies for communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing person in the library
  • Video demonstrations and handouts for library-related signs, accessible for practice after the workshop
  • Tips for finding, hiring, and working with sign language interpreters
  • Knowledge of varieties of communication among deaf and hard of hearing people

Kathy MacMillan (she/her) is a writer, nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller. She has worked in school and public libraries for over 25 years. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children, teens, and adults, including the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press and the Storytime Magic series from ALA Editions. She lives in Baltimore, MD. Find her online at or on Twitter and Instagram at @kathys_quill.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.

Law Librarianship

Law Librarianship for Beginners, Thursday, May 2, 2024 12:30 p.m. MT 


Legal research is not just for law librarians—most librarians will need to answer legal reference questions and assist patrons with legal research during their career.

In this webinar, law librarian Ellyssa Kroski will teach the process of legal research from a beginner’s perspective. Participants will learn the fundamental elements of finding legal materials, including primary sources like constitutions; statutes; court opinions and case law; regulations; and administrative decisions. Kroski will also cover secondary and scholarly sources which may be cited as persuasive authority such as treatises, law reviews, specialized periodicals, annotations, and restatements, as well as legal encyclopedias. This webinar is applicable to libraries in a wide variety of environments and will cover both free and commercial sources.

After participating in this event, learners will:

  • Understand how to track down a legal citation
  • Be able to distinguish between statute and case law citations
  • Know sources for locating both Federal and State statutes
  • Understand where to find both Federal and State court opinions
  • Know how to look for specialized legal materials such as regulations, dockets, forms, and reporters
  • Understand the basics of checking the validity of a case before citing it

Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Innovation & Engagement at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 75 books. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at San Jose State University, and an international conference speaker. She can be found at:

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.

Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual Freedom and Library Ethics: Maintaining Your Values in a Challenging Era - Monday, May 6, 2024, 11:00 a.m. MT


It’s no secret that in recent years libraries have faced an unprecedented number of challenges over materials, displays, programs, or even daily activities. As a result, many libraries and library staff may face heightened burdens, pressure, and discomfort when it comes to doing our work. Whether responding to a single phone call from a concerned community member about an event or responding to an organized protest, these increasing challenges are raising the potential for high stress and communication strains with patrons, coworkers, and stakeholders.

Our professional values are being put to the test. This course offers practical guidance on how to address these challenges while continuing to do our work with integrity and purpose. Through case analysis, readings, and discussion, this course will emphasize practical strategies to build capacity and resilience in the context of increasing challenges. Participants will have an opportunity to consider how to use professional ethics to identify and assess their community contexts, build comfort, and find professional support in responses to challenges.

By participating in this course, learners will:

  • Refresh their knowledge of and reliance on the fundamental principles of information ethics in practical application to library work.
  • Identify several strategies for explaining the value of library work that supports intellectual freedom to community stakeholders.
  • Develop several strategies to strengthen responses to challenged materials and services.
  • Evaluate and design approaches to meet the needs of their home library community.

Dr. Hogan is a youth services librarian from Northeast Ohio who holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. emphasizing social philosophy. Prior to entering the library sector, Dr. Hogan’s teaching background included extensive courses in applied and professional ethics and work in academic and community settings.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.

Basic Copyright

Basic Copyright for Library Staff

Live Webinar

Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 12:30 - 2:00 pm 

Copyright is an ever-present and constantly evolving challenge for library staff. If you’re new to copyright, it can be hard to know where to start. In this event, copyright librarian Sara Benson will guide you through the basics.

You will learn about how a copyright is formed, when to register a work, how to calculate copyright term length, library limitations and exceptions, and fair use. The webinar will include opportunities for the exploration of hypothetical situations that come up in libraries as well as tools and resources librarians can use to understand copyright.

After this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand basic copyright concepts, including copyright length and the public domain.
  • Know when Section 108 limitations and exceptions apply to library digitization and lending.
  • Be able to conduct a basic fair use analysis for library work.

Sara R. Benson is the copyright librarian and an associate professor at the Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a JD from the University of Houston Law Center, an LLM from Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley, and an MSLIS from the School of Information Science at the University of Illinois. Prior to joining the library, Sara was a lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Law for ten years. Sara is the host of the Podcast ©hat (“Copyright Chat”), available on iTunes.

This event will be hosted in Zoom. Automatic captions will be enabled for this event. This event will be recorded, and registrants will receive access to the recording within a day after the event ends.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at or at 312-280-5100.


Project Management in Libraries

Project Management in Libraries April 29, 2024


In this class, participants will review the skills and experiences needed to be exemplary project managers in a library organization. Interactive and dynamic activities such as discussions, reading assignments, and class exercises will accompany each week's lectures. The four-part topical tour of project management will culminate with a final project management principles. The course is self-paced. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Issues facing new and existing managers who need to create project management plans.

  • The importance of project champions, administrators, and cross-departmental staff will be covered in depth.

  • Effective communication (written and verbal), training staff, managing cross department projects, delegating tasks, and being the middle manager. Leading literature will be uncovered, reviewed, and discussed.

By the end of the course, participants will be prepared to assume both leadership roles and managerial roles, in relation to effective project management.


Debra Lucas-Alfieri was the Head of Reference, Public Services, Interlibrary Loan, and Instruction at D’Youville University in Buffalo, NY from 2002-2022, leaving with distinction at retirement.  She is the author of Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time is Now, published by Chandos, an imprint of Elsevier.  She has also published academic journal articles in Collaborative Librarianship, the Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve, and the Journal of Library and Information Science. She has co-authored and published articles in the nursing and pharmaceutical field.  Her book chapters appear in Middle Management in Academic and Public Libraries, and the 21st Century Handbook of Anthropology.  Additionally, she served as an editor for the Journal of Library Innovation. Dozens of encyclopedia articles appear in the Encyclopedia of Power, the Encyclopedia of Time, the Encyclopedia of Anthropology, and the 20th Century Encyclopedia of Pop Culture.  

She was appointed as the Faculty Senate Parliamentarian (2018-2022).  She was awarded a Sabbatical and Faculty Research Grant in 2014, a Fellowship Award in 2015-2016, and was then promoted to full-librarian in 2016. She has been an online instructor and consulting in Library Studies since 2012.  

She is proud to discuss her days in the Western New York Library Resources Council Leadership Institute where she graduated in 2006. In 2008, she returned as the Graduation Keynote Speaker of the same Leadership Institute.

Online Learning Opportunities

Explore the webpages of the ALA divisions the ALA Divisions website to find many resources on professional development associated with the divisions. While access to some content is limited to membership in the division, free content is additionally available.

Here are just a few examples: 

Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC): Everyday Advocacy

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS):


  • What is an e-forum? ALCTS e-forums are two-day, moderated, electronic discussion forums that provide an opportunity for librarians to discuss matters of interest on an ALCTS email discussion list. These discussions are free of charge and available to anyone who wishes to subscribe to the email list.
  • Make sure to unsubscribe after participating in one if you don't want to automatically receive emails for future e-forum discussion topics.
  • Check here for information about upcoming discussions.
  • Webinar archive
    • Webinar recordings are available at no cost 6 months after original presentation.
  • ALCTS continuing education YouTube Channel
  • Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA):


ACRL Toolkits 

Kits include:

  • Academic Library Friends: A Toolkit for Getting Started
  • Diversity Standards Toolkit
  • Scholarly Communication Toolkit

RUSA Library Publishing Toolkit

Covers the following areas:

  • Education and Instruction
  • Content Development and Editorial
  • Product Design and Production
  • Marketing and Dissemination

YALSA 2017 Advocacy Toolkit


American Library Association (ALA): ALA LibGuides

Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL): LibGuides at ACRL

Reference & User Services Association (RUSA): RUSA LibGuide for Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS)