Dear MLS Members,

With fall quickly approaching, we wanted to give you a quick update on our plans for continuing education this season:

  • First, all of our trainings this fall will be held online.  No need to travel to access top-rate trainings!
  • Second, we are experimenting with a variety of ways to deliver training this fall … from multi-week cohort-based learning, to anytime learning (asynchronous), to a series of online learning experiences centered around a theme, in addition to our standard webinars, workshops, and events.

Many of the topics we are offering this fall are based upon what we heard from you, our members.  Thank you!

Here is what we have scheduled so far:

Communication Tools Micro-Learning (Part of the Marketing & Communication Tools Series)

Explore how to use three related project management tools to organize and plan for effective, efficient, reliable communications with three short Communication Tools videos on the newly revised Marketing Resource Guide.

  • Asynchronous learning, registration not required

Climate Preparedness Week 2020

MLS and libraries across the Commonwealth are partnering with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) for Climate Preparedness Week.  CREW is hosting six virtual programs that library partners can promote to their communities.  Your library can also offer your own program(s).  Learn more in this Toolkit developed by Gabrielle Griffis in collaboration with MLS.

The Art of Employee Communication

Communication can be a significant challenge to navigate in a professional setting.  Understanding individual needs will help you develop communication strategies for effective models of feedback and performance evaluation.  This hybrid workshop consists of an MLS Guide with asynchronous learning (pre-recorded short webinars and resources), followed by an optional live virtual session for discussion and peer feedback in small groups.  You can register for the optional live session by following the below links:

Using the RACI Matrix to Organize a Communication Campaign (Part of the Marketing & Communication Tools Series)

Part Four of the Communication Tools micro-learning series, this live demonstration explores the content and use of the RACI Matrix to support effective and efficient communications. The RACI Matrix is particularly useful for coordinated campaigns, as we will demonstrate using COVID response as context.

Teen Summit

Join us for a daylong event focused on teen services.  Featuring keynote speaker Adrienne Kisner and 9 different breakout sessions from MA & RI Teen Librarians!  Teen Summit is free this year!

Introduction to Omeka

Omeka is a free, open-source content management system for online digital collections. As a web application, it allows users to publish and exhibit cultural heritage objects, and extend its functionality with themes and plugins.  (Wikipedia).  This free webinar is offered in partnership with Digital Commonwealth and is part of their “Expanding Your Digital Horizons” series.

What Can BPL Do for You?

In its role as Library for the Commonwealth, the Boston Public Library provides services to all Massachusetts residents and supplements library resources found in communities statewide.  Join staff from BPL to learn about a variety of statewide resources and services, including the eCard program, article delivery, the Commonwealth Catalog, world language deposits, and digitization access, along with e-resources that are available through the BPL website.

Who Do You Think You are Talking To? (Part of the Marketing & Communication Tools Series)

Building off of the Communication Tools Micro-Learning videos, this activity rich virtual workshop will explore the concepts of audience and communication channel, with the goal of making your library’s messaging more effective and efficient.

Civic Engagement: Leadership Roles for Libraries (Part of the Civic Engagement Series)

This interactive virtual workshop will explore civic engagement leadership roles for libraries, including civic educator, conversation starter, community bridge, visionary, and center for democracy in action.  The presenter will highlight successful library civic engagement programs, partnerships, and resources.  You’ll also learn how to create strategic partnerships to increase civic engagement in your communities.

Libraries as Civic Hubs: Extending Conversations on Civic Engagement (Part of the Civic Engagement Series)

By serving as public forums and civic engagement ‘incubators,’ libraries can support informed, issue-oriented public programs and structured opportunities for discussion.  Join us to learn about the MBLC LSTA Civic Hub grant and hear about successfully funded library civic hub projects.

Libraries and their Critical Role Serving Immigrant Communities (Part of the Civic Engagement Series)

A US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) community relations officer will provide suggestions about how to refer library patrons needing immigration information to qualified immigration service providers, and how libraries can offer resources and services to immigrants.

We are also in the process of scheduling a number of additional online learning opportunities, including:

Job-seeker Resources and Programs (Series)

This series will explore job search and career development services that libraries can offer to help support their communities during this challenging economic time.  Sessions will include an overview of the current employment landscape in Massachusetts, career resource demonstrations, and idea shares on jobseeker programming from libraries around the state.

Spotlight on Literature (Series)

Chapter by chapter, week by week, this series of online learning experiences will provide you with the opportunity to explore different ways of connecting with your community through your library collection.  Some, but not all, of the content in this series is youth oriented and will include Curating Collections, Virtual Readers’ Advisory, and Celebrations & Conversations.

Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines – Oh My! (Workshop)

Strong policies ensure smooth operation of the library and provide protection for employees, management, and patrons.  However not everything you need to implement will be in your policies, which is where procedures and guidelines come in.  Each control has a unique role, and understanding those roles will enable libraries to create and implement effective processes.

Improvise into the Unknown: Techniques for Adapting to Uncertain Times with More Ease & Joy (Workshop) – Save the Date: October 23, 1 – 3 pm

In this virtual session, Pam Victor from Happier Valley Comedy will introduce interactive and engaging activities to correlate the techniques used in improvisation to develop stronger business and personal interactions, improve creativity, and promote more resilience.

Transforming Teen Services: Using Connected Learning Principles to Create Meaningful Teen Programs and Services (Five-Week eCourse)

Join staff from MLS and MBLC for a multi-week blended learning online course that will focus on the basics and application of Connected Learning (CL) within library services for youth.  Over five weeks of activities and group discussion, participants will learn how to incorporate CL into their work, and to utilize CL concepts to truly meet the needs of the young adults in their community.

Basic Library Techniques: Administration (Two-Part eCourse)

The BLT class in Administration consists of four modules: library environment, financial resources, personnel, and facilities.  This two-part hybrid course starts with an interactive online tutorial and culminates in a live virtual session where we will review, discuss, and apply key concepts.  Limited space is available, with priority given to directors who are required to complete the course for MBLC certification.

Small Library Forum (Two Day Event) – Save the Date: November 17 & 18

Staff from MLS and MBLC will be hosting a two-day virtual event dedicated to addressing the needs of small libraries.  You’ll come away with information about best practices and inspiration for forward thinking.  Supported with a grant from the Manton Foundation.

Virtual Check-Ins (Discussions)

Connect with library colleagues from across the Commonwealth, share best practices, and hear about what others are doing to engage their communities during these continually changing times.  MLS staff will host virtual check-ins on a variety of topics, including youth services, small libraries, health sciences and special libraries, reference/adult services, marketing, and peer support on economic uncertainty.

These learning opportunities will be scheduled on our online calendar ( as more information becomes available.  If you would like to receive occasional emails with information about our upcoming trainings, please join our mailing list (be sure to check off “Training and professional development offerings”)

Want more training?  We have over 245 recorded webinars and videos on our Vimeo page.  Also, with the generous support from the Manton Foundation, we partnered with ALA to provide Massachusetts library staff with access to the Small & Rural Library Management and Essentials for Library Workers recorded webinar series.

Finally, we invite you to visit our webguide for Consulting & Training Services.  On the guide you can learn about our team and our various areas of expertise, and find links to our most popular services.

We hope to see you at some of our trainings this fall!