Continuing Education and Training

The New Jersey State Library continues to invest in the development of New Jersey’s libraries by fostering the professional training of library personnel and providing effective leadership and administration to support and improve library services. Below is a listing of webinars of interest to the New Jersey library community. These webinars are offered by various organizations and statewide programs involved in discounted training from LYRASIS and WebJunction.

Future Events

Libraries Lead with Digital Skills Grant: Libraries Lead with Digital Skills is an initiative of ALA and PLA, sponsored by Google, to ensure that public libraries across the nation receive ongoing access to free tools and resources to help everyone across America grow their skills, careers, and businesses.  The application period opens in early December, but libraries are strongly encouraged to review the application and start preparing. Accepted libraries receive $1,000 with minimal application and reporting requirements, with the opportunity to receive an additional $3,000 bonus if your program is selected for a Spotlight Award.  For the application and requirements, visit:

Upcoming Webinars

The New Jersey State Library is coordinating a series of webinars for library staff who assist jobseekers. Visit for more information and links to attend.

To access LYRASIS’ online classes please click the link


Opiate Crisis: What Libraries Can Do – California State Library

This 59-minute webinar discusses the history and depth of the opiate problem in the United States, and how it has come to the attention of libraries and their staff. Topics include how library staff members at all levels can recognize the signs and symptoms of opiate users who are either under the influence or in withdrawal; what to do when faced with an overdose patient; the safe and effective use of Narcan (a drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdose); and getting help from social services agencies, substance abuse professionals, and the police.

View the recorded webinar here.

Strategic Planning When You Can’t Afford a Consultant

So you have to develop a strategic plan for your library, but you cannot afford to hire a consultant? Let Michele Stricker, Deputy State Librarian for Lifelong Learning at the NJ State Library, provide you with the basic practices and resources for creating a practical framework for your strategic plan. Walk away with useful tips and techniques that you can apply to your own library.

View the recorded webinar here.

Building Effective and Innovative Partnerships – Connecting to Collections Care

How C2C Statewide grants are providing opportunities to strengthen existing relationships and reach out to new groups

  • Host: Gina L. B. Minks, Imaging & Preservation Service Manager, Amigos Library Services, Dallas, TX and Arkansas C2C Statewide Planning Grant
  • Michele Stricker, Assistant Director, Library Development Bureau, New Jersey State Library, New Jersey C2C Statewide Planning Grant
  • Margaret Mary Layne, Executive Director, Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV and West Virginia C2C Statewide Planning Grant
  • Randy Silverman, Preservation Librarian, University of Utah Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, UT and Utah C2C Statewide Planning Grant

Viewed the recorded webinar here.


Training Providers

Training Providers

  • LYRASISChoose from a wide variety of class titles and sessions. Use code NJSL17-18 to register. LYRASIS also offers savings on supplies, free participation in select LYRASIS events and webinars, and free listings on LYRASIS Job Bank. Please see this flyer for more details.

  • LibraryLInkNJ – From hands-on classes to excellent lectures and webinars to training subsidies, LibraryLinkNJ strives to create training opportunities that make your job easier and more productive.

  • ReferenceUSA – ReferenceUSA offers free training and webinars to librarians and their patrons.

  • Library Support Staff Resource Center –  Welcome to the Library Support Staff Resource Center! This website was created under the direction of the Office for Human Resource Development & Recruitment (HRDR) and is designed to provide resources of interest for library support staff, paraprofessionals, and those interested in library work.


WebJunction‘s free, online course catalog has over 25 self-paced, online courses on library topics, as well as over 100 curated webinar archives ready and available when you are. Take courses when your time permits, and earn completion certificates as you finish each class. All learners will need to create a new account.

Highlighted Content from WebJunction:

  • How to Provide Tools for Change with a Community Health Fair: the Buffalo & Erie County Library has made a commitment to bringing health and wellness information and services to the community in a non-threatening and enjoyable way. Explore these great ideas for your own library!
  • Dealing with Angry Patrons: the WebJunction team recently refreshed the LibraryU course, Dealing with Angry Patrons. No one enjoys having to deal with an angry patron, but with proper preparation and skill development, you can minimize conflict, defuse patron anger and identify the underlying issues. This course is designed to help you improve your skills using a two-step method for responding to anger, by first dealing with the patron’s feelings, then dealing with their problem. Learn more and enroll in this free course today!

Current and Upcoming WebJunction Webinars:

Take advantage of these upcoming webinars. For a full list of upcoming events, go to the WebJunction Events Calendar.

Highlighted Content on WebJunction

  • Where Compassion Meets Action: The California State Library Mental Health Initiative webinar series is now available through the WebJunction Course Catalog. Produced by Infopeople, the series covers topics including creating a nurturing spot for teens, meeting needs of those who Alzheimer’s and dementia, and veteran’s mental health.
  • Public Libraries and the 2020 Census: As trusted, central community institutions, public libraries are well positioned to inform their communities about the importance of the 2020 Census, answer questions, provide access to resources, and reach hard-to-count persons to ensure a fair and equitable census count.

More Resources

Below you will find stories profiling examples of the kind of work public libraries are already doing to close the justice gap and meet the civil legal needs of their community.

Law libraries can provide people with information, forms, and legal aid references to help them with their legal questions. Too often, however, people either don’t know that law libraries exist or may be intimidated to visit them, as law libraries are usually housed in government buildings behind security. By contrast, public libraries are central institutions frequented by community members, but public library staff may not have the specialized knowledge to confidently answer patrons’ pressing legal questions.

The Minnesota State Law Library (MSLL) has partnered with Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) to create the Legal Reference at the Public Library program. This initiative combines the strengths of each—the specialized expertise of the law library with the accessibility of the public library—to connect more people facing legal issues with the help and support they need at their local public library.

Free legal representation can be hard to access in rural communities and filing legal documents without representation can be costly and confusing. To improve access to civil legal justice for low-income community members, Wicomico Public Libraries partnered with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service to create the cyber legal clinic, “Legal Clinic @ YOUR Library.” Participants attend clinics in person at Wicomico Public Libraries (WPL) Downtown Branch and connect with Baltimore lawyers remotely using Google Hangouts to receive full civil legal representation free of charge.

The Cleveland Public Library and The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland had been working in partnership for years, offering several legal aid workshops on general topics that were open to public. But Aaron Mason, the library’s Assistant Director, Outreach and Programming Services, saw an opportunity and a need to develop a more in-depth program.

The library expanded the partnership with Cleveland Legal Aid, and together they developed a budget, plan, and agreement to increase the library’s offering of free legal advice to patrons in-need.

Today, there are 12-13 clinic per year offered in branches throughout the city, allowing the program to reach people from diverse racial and financial backgrounds, and it serves as one of the library’s top-performing services.

The Jacksonville Public Library partnered with two local legal aid organizations to provide Lawyers in Libraries workshops. Topics for workshops have included landlord or renter issues, custody and child support concerns, and other family issues.

Continuing Education Nationwide

View and subscribe to the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar (All events are listed in MT time).


Do you have a free program that you would like to share?

Add it to the calendar here:


2020 Best Practices in Early Literacy Awards – Deadline to apply is March 6, 2020

The New Jersey State Library is accepting applications for the annual Best Practices in Early Literacy Award. The award honors up to four outstanding public libraries that currently provide exemplary literacy programs for children from birth to six years, their families and caregivers. The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, a certificate, and promotion of the winning library as a model program for other libraries. The winning libraries will be honored during the State Librarian’s Breakfast at the 2020 NJLA Conference at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. The deadline to apply is March 6, 2020.

To apply, please complete and submit the application form after consulting the award guidelines.

To see a list of previous winners, go to the following webpage and click on Award Brochures, then under New Jersey State Library Awards (for 2017 – 2019 winners) or under Best Practices in Early Literacy (for 2014-2016 winners).

Those who applied last year but did not win can re-apply with the same program as long as it was held within the past two years. Libraries who have won twice previously are not eligible to apply. Please contact Sharon Rawlins, Youth Services Specialist, NJ State Library,, 609-278-2640 ext. 116 if you have any questions.


Apply for the 2020 Miss Rumphius Award!

As liaison to the NJ Center for the Book, Sharon Rawlins is promoting to public and school library staff that the Center is seeking nominations for its 2020 Miss Rumphius Award. Based on the title character of Barbara Cooney’s book, Miss Rumphius, winner of the National Book Award in 1983, this Award honors public librarians, school media specialists, and educators who are stellar in spreading ideas about literacy. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, February 17, 2020. The nominee must be employed in New Jersey as a professional librarian, library staff member, certified educator, or teacher assistant, and must have developed creative activities to enhance learning and literacy.  The activity should be collaborative, innovative, and able to be replicated by other librarians and educators. The nominee must be willing to help produce her or his program for other classrooms and/or libraries. A monetary amount of $200.00 and a NJCFB Miss Rumphius Award certificate will be presented to the recipient in 2020. The nomination shall include the full name of the nominee and the place of employment; shall describe the activity or program in complete detail; shall describe the setting in which it takes place; shall indicate the collaborative aspects; shall indicate the innovative aspects of the program or activity and indicate how it can be replicated; shall include the full name and title of the nominator with address, email, phone number and fax number; shall include a letter of support from an administrator, from a former or current student, from a client or patron, or from a member of the staff.

Please submit your nomination (self-nominations are accepted) for the Miss Rumphius Award to Carol Phillips (

If you have any questions, contact Carol Phillips, ( or visit the NJCFB website: