Youth Services: Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Do you work in Library Youth Services? Infopeople has a number of upcoming training opportunities that may be of interest to you!

Age Range: Under 5 years old

Creating Baby Spaces in Public Libraries: Designing for Success 3-baby
1-hour webinar on Jan 27 with presenter Bridget Alexander

Sensory-Enhanced Storytimes
1-hour webinar on Feb 11 with presenters Laura Baldassari-Hackstaff and Laura Olson

Age Range: 5 – 12 years old

Children’s Programming on a Budget
4-week course with instructor Penny Peck  play colors
Free or low-cost library programs are a natural and effective way to meet the needs of school-age children and their parents or caregivers in your community. Your library’s programming efforts could include multicultural events, do-it-yourself craft and game programs, book-related movies, Lego clubs, board and electronic gaming programs, book discussion groups, Makerspace programs, storytelling, puppet shows, and “dog buddy” reading programs.  In this course, expert children’s librarian Penny Peck shares her practical experiences with determining, developing, and delivering programs that stimulate and engage children – all for a reasonable cost to your library.

Age Range: 12 – 18 years old

Adapting Informal Learning Practices for Teen Services: the labs @ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
1-hour webinar on Feb 24 with presenter Corey Wittig

STEM and STEAM Programming for Teens in Libraries
1-hour webinar on Jan 21 with presenter Karen Jensen   youngpeople
Jensen will discuss the basic concepts behind both STEM and STEAM programming. We’ll also discuss the benefits for both libraries and the teens they serve. We’ll also provide you with some basic program starting points for STEAM programs that involve art, music and/or books.

Teen Services Fundamentals
4-week course with instructor Sarah Flowers
You’ll come away from the course with an understanding of the developmental needs of teens in our diverse society and tools to identify and enhance the library’s role in meeting those needs. This course will enable you to advocate for teens and for library services geared specifically to them.

Libraries as Civic Engagement Leaders

“Libraries are at the heart of the communities they serve, and civic engagement is at the heart of where libraries are going in the 21st century. Moving from a community resource to a civic engagement leader is a logical step in the evolution of public libraries. They have a rich knowledge base about what’s going on in the community that can shape and encourage strong connections for engagement and action.”

                          – From the Urban Libraries Council report Stepping Up to the Civic Engagement Challenge

Is “civic engagement leader” one of the roles you see the libraries in your community playing? Or would you like to strengthen this role in the library in which you work?jane salisbury

In her Infopeople course, Communities and Civic Engagement: The Library’s Role as Connector, instructor Jane Salisbury says, “Libraries are finding many ways to form connections through civic engagement. Public forums, conversation projects, and embedding librarians in local government projects are some of the ways that libraries are making themselves pivotal, and sometimes essential, to the process of building community.”

Libraries are not only hosting and facilitating forums and conversations in the library, but in some cases librarians are also going out into the community for civic engagement. Salisbury shares, “Sending librarians out into the world of local government and community events—embedding them, as some express it—is the other side of the two-way street of civic engagement. Libraries are learning to place their staff in the boardrooms, convention centers, and farmers’ markets of their cities, marketing their skills and resources in a whole series of new contexts. City council members and health and job fair organizers don’t necessarily expect librarians to show up, but when the value of their skills and resources is demonstrated, they become essential partners in important initiatives outside the library walls.”

Interested in learning more about civic engagement in libraries? Consider enrolling in the upcoming 4-week course, Communities and Civic Engagement: The Library’s Role as Connector. The course will support your efforts to enhance civic life in your community. Exemplary programs will be discussed and resources will be shared, with an emphasis on practical steps that you can take in your own community.

Programming for Children: Passive Programming Ideas

Library programming for children can entertain, educate and engage young people and their families in your community! There are various types of library programming for children. From jugglers and magicians to book groups and Makerspaces, many libraries embrace programming as a way to foster learning, reading, and creativity. When library resources are in short supply, however, it can take creative approaches to offer programming that does not require a lot of money or staff time. One type of programming that can be viable is passive programming.

Infopeople instructor Penny Peck describes passive programming in this way:penny_peck

Passive programming is a term you sometimes hear used to refer to activities which do not require staff direction, such as a simple craft, coloring pages, games or puzzles left on a table in the children’s room. For practical purposes, this might be an activity to keep kids busy while their parents are on the computer or finding books. It can encourage positive activity after a child has finished his homework and is waiting to be picked up.It might also mean having something for a parent and child to do together at the library. Passive programming is very low cost, as it involves just a few games or toys and some simple craft supplies. On busy days, you could even assign a teen volunteer to monitor the passive program area –  refilling craft supplies, assisting younger children with scissors, and cleaning up regularly to make sure game pieces don’t get lost.

There are plenty of simple things you can do as a passive program. Here are a few ideas from Penny:passive programming

  1. Contests: Have a contest related to a display. For example, if you are displaying photos of famous Hispanic-Americans for Cinco de Mayo, allow children to enter guesses as they try to identify the famous person for a prize. This could inspire them to do some research to identify the person in a photo!
  2. Character of the Week: Create a simple book display highlighting a favorite children’s book character. Make some arts and crafts (bookmarks, masks, paper bag puppets, mazes, etc.) related to that character available, too. You can often find activities on an author or publisher’s website. The books will circulate and children will enjoy the crafts.
  3. Origami: Display some of the popular Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger and include some related origami instructions and paper.
  4. Scavenger Hunt: Make handouts with scavenger hunt clues that focus on different areas of the library. For example, “Name a magazine from the children’s area,” or “Name the Dewey Decimal number for folktales.” Once a child has filled in all the answers, he or she can bring it to the librarian’s desk for a prize (like a bookmark or stickers). Plus, they have completed a self-directed library tour!

Interested in more great ideas for Children’s Programming on a Budget? Registration for a new course taught by Penny Peck is now open at:

Learners have come a long way with tech developments

For the past decade, Infopeople has offered a course for all library types and staff classifications on Weeding for Your Library’s Health. More accurately, we’ve offered an ever evolving course addressing this topic and, for me as its decade-long instructor, the evolution is apparent in the participants as well as the format and coverage.

Weeding in libraries calls up all manner of political and emotional red flags, as Boston Public Library most recently demonstrates in national news. Second guessing Any Library’s weeding makes Monday (or Tuesday) morning quarterbacking look useful. Instead of going into all that, what I want to do is share  what the decade shows in terms of Infopeople learner participation.

The first dozen iterations of this workshop were day-long on-ground offerings. Workshop attendees did represent a variety of library types (including private as well as public, school, and academic) and each group shared a general geographic location–which is to say that the collective wisdom in the room tended to be, well, local. And since these were on-ground workshops in which we were all together for one day only and parked in a meeting room, the “hands on” exercises necessarily involved whatever I had toted into that room, or the host library had on offer from recently already-weeded stores. (TSA used to leave very interesting notes in my weeding workshop luggage). Then, at the end of the day, everyone went home, and the next day went back to his or her library and either weeded…or didn’t.

The course moved online even before Infopeople online course moved to Moodle. Online courses were a new experience for lots of library staff. They struggled with posting assignments on top of struggling with weeding. But it was immediately apparent that an online course, unfolding over weeks, was a lot more effective in terms of learning and doing weeding! Participants were in their own locations. The assignments had them working with their own weeding issues on location.

As the years passed, the location diversity among online course participants ramped way up. Now a course complement included diverse library types, diverse classifications, and geographic diversity. Participants began to find support and weeding allies a thousand miles away, while still being able to practice what they were learning right where they needed it to be happening–in their home libraries.

And participants have become increasingly comfortable with online learning, a capacity development which makes everyone’s course experience richer. Forum posts are increasingly substantive, a higher and higher percentage of those who register are active on a frequent basis throughout the course, and questions and suggestions fly between 50+ points of contact instead of within a table group of two or three.

Weeding is never going to be the library world’s favorite task. But every time I spend a month with a new group of participants willing to learn more about weeding well, I come away impressed by how far online learning capacity grows among library staff, well, everywhere.

Coming this fall: Short Format Courses

Coming SoonWe know you like our one hour webinars and our four week online courses.  We also know from feedback from our learners that the majority of you are very busy with full time job responsibilities.  So, starting this fall, Infopeople will expand your professional development opportunities by adding a number of short format courses to our usual calendar of 4 week online offerings.

The new format will go through the same rigorous development process and have the same quality of online learning you have come to expect from Infopeople.  Each short course will…

  • Be customized in length to the topic, designed to be started and completed in 1-3 weeks.
  • Be led by Infopeople instructors selected for their subject matter and online learning expertise.
  • Offer practical knowledge and information that can be put to use immediately.
  • Include an online kick-off meeting, relevant content, customized assignments, tasks that reinforce the topic, and a final wrap-up online meeting.
  • Cost $55 ($110 for those outside of California)

Here are just some of the short format courses already planned for this year:

1. Free and Unknown Online Tools, taught by Laura Solomon (September)
2. The Affordable Care Act and Latinos in California, taught by Susana Baumann (October)
3. Learning Interactively, taught by Stephanie Gerding (May, 2015)

More details and information about enrollment will be coming soon to the Infopeople home page.  Or, you can be notified automatically of further developments if you sign up for the Infopeople training announcement list.

You spoke – we listened!  We look forward to launching this exciting addition to the Infopeople online learning repertoire.