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:

New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response Workshops in Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Institutions 

The New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response is hosting the event NJCAR Workshops in Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Institutions.

This will be a half day workshop presented by LYRASIS staff on how to write a disaster plan for small libraries and cultural institutions, and a short tabletop exercise.

We will be hosting this event at two places:

  • March 18, 2020- Middlesex Division of Historic Sites & History Services: 75 Bayard St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  • March 19, 2020- Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum: 120 W Main St, Tuckerton, NJ 08087

About NJCAR: The New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR) empowers New Jersey’s cultural communities to preserve their valuable assets and sustain operations before, during, and after disasters strike. This new Alliance is comprised of a network of organizations, associations, agencies, and individuals dedicated to safeguarding the State’s cultural heritage. NJCAR is affiliated with the national group — Heritage Preservation’s Alliance for Response.

What is New Jersey’s cultural community?

  • Libraries
  • Museums and galleries
  • Performing arts venues
  • Archives and manuscript repositories
  • Historic districts, sites, and parks
  • Artists
  • Historical societies
  • Arboretums and botanical gardens
  • Archaeological sites
  • Affiliated persons, agencies and organizations

If you have any questions or comments please contact Nayomi Torres-Velez at

Activate Sustainable Thinking for Future of Libraries

Libraries must take an active, visible role in building sustainable and resilient communities. Our future depends on it in many ways. We will explore the importance of infusing the core value of sustainability into everything we do, and demonstrate how libraries that lead into the future using “sustainable thinking” fulfill our mission as libraries in new and innovative ways. “Sustainable Thinking” is a concept that aligns the core values of libraries with the “Triple Bottom Line” definition of sustainability: economic feasibility, environmental stewardship and social equity to inspire investment and build support for your library in the future.


  1. At the end of this workshop participants will:
  2. Understand the urgency behind the need to think differently about our future
  3. Be mobilized to think sustainably about the future of their library and their community
  4. Have new tools and inspiration for helping their communities thrive
  5. Advance with confidence into the unknown

Dates & Locations:

  • Burlington County Library, Westhampton: May 11, 2020
  • Cumberland County Library, Bridgeton: May 12, 2020
  • Ridgewood Public Library: April 14, 2020 (limited to 35 people)

Time: 9:00 A.M. registration, 9:30-1:00 workshop
Cost: $15 per person- includes continental breakfast

For further information contact Nayomi Torres-Velez, Library Associate, Email

FEMA—Until Help Arrives and Bleeding Control Course for Public Library Staff

Taught by University Hospital Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Office of Emergency Management.

Life-threatening emergencies can happen fast and emergency responders are not always nearby. Librarians on the front lines may be able to save a lift by taking simple actions immediately. Library staff are already receiving training to administer Narcan due to the Opioid crisis, and on how to respond in Active Shooter situations. This course, specifically designed for libraries, is an expanded training for any life-threatening emergency that may happen in a library. The course will teach the five (5) steps that may save a life before help arrives: Call 9-1-1, Stay Safe, Stop the Bleeding, Position the Injured.

  1. Monmouth County Library, Manalapan: April 1, 2020
  2. Somerset County Library, Bridgewater: April 8, 2020
  3. Parsippany Troy Hills Public Library: April 15, 2020
  4. Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fair Lawn (Maurice M. Pine Free Public Library, Level B Meeting Room): April 16, 2020
  5. Willingboro Public Library: April 28, 2020
  6. Gloucester County Library, Mullica Hill: April 29, 2020

Time: 9:00 A.M. registration, 9:30-1:00 P.M. event
Cost: $15 per person- includes continental breakfast

For further information contact Nayomi Torres-Velez, Library Associate, Email

Who are the People in your neighborhood? Community Asset Mapping

Presented by NJ Volunteer Organizations Active After a Disaster (NJVOAD) for NJCAR

Temporary Description: Many community organizations focus on the needs or deficits of the community. Every community has needs and deficits that nonprofit organizations should attend to.

Nevertheless, it is also possible to focus on assets and strengths — emphasizing what the community does have, not what it does not. Those assets and strengths can be used to meet those same community needs; they can improve community life.

To draw upon a community’s assets, we first have to find out what they are. So in this workshop, we will focus on identifying community assets and resources. We will also show how they can be harnessed to meet community needs and to strengthen the community as a whole.

Workshops Dates & Locations:

  1. Morris Museum, Morristown: March 3, 2020
  2. Monmouth County Library, Manalapan: March 4, 2020

Time: 9:00 A.M. registration, 9:30-1:00 P.M. event
$15 per person- includes continental breakfast

For further information contact Nayomi Torres-Velez, Library Associate, Email

Online Training

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.

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.

The following upcoming webinars are open for registration. If you can’t attend a live session, all WebJunction webinars are recorded and available for free in the Course Catalog.

Librarian as Verb: Activate Your Rural Community

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 ◆ 3:00 pm Eastern / 12:00 pm Pacific ◆ 60 minutes

Making connections and being an active part of the community you serve is especially important in small and rural libraries. It makes your library more visible and also enhances the quality of life in the community. Learn how a rural library director transformed library services over one summer, by getting out and growing awareness in the community. With the help of two enthusiastic staff, one simple idea grew into so much more. We will explore different ways to engage your community, spark young readers, and build relationships with families. Hear tips, tools, and personal stories about how the library implemented outreach services and created ways to positively impact the entire community! Learn how to make “librarian” not only your job title, but what you actively do.

This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).

Presented by: Lori Juhlin, Director of the Hawarden Public Library (IA), and Chair, ARSL Marketing & Communication Committee

Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 ◆ 3:00 pm Eastern / 12:00 pm Pacific ◆ 60 minutes

The lofty U.S. ideal of “justice for all” fails the equity test because many people, especially our nation’s poorest individuals, fall into the “justice gap”—the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and the resources to meet those needs. Many of your community members who instinctively turn to the library for help with crises in their lives might be on the verge of falling into this gap. Though legal issues can be intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help reduce the justice gap. Join us to learn about the status of civil legal justice in our system and about the vital role you can play in connecting people with information and supporting them as they navigate the complexities of the legal system. Law librarian Catherine McGuire, who has conducted extensive trainings with public libraries, will share insights into interacting with patrons who approach the library with civil legal needs. With a basic understanding of the civil legal justice landscape, we hope you will be motivated to plunge deeper into helping close the justice gap by taking the live, multi-week online course to be offered in April.

Presented by: Catherine McGuire, Head of Reference and Outreach, Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, Maryland; Luis Interiano, Adult Services Librarian, West Baton Rouge Library, Port Allen, Louisiana; and Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC

Subscribe to Crossroads, WebJunction’s free e-newsletter. Each month, Crossroads highlights new articles on, including upcoming webinars and new course content. Subscribe today.

Can’t attend the live session? Don’t worry. All webinars are archived and included in the WebJunction course catalog so you can watch when your schedule permits and receive a certificate of attendance.

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: