Libraries are hubs of learning for the community, but how would you rank your library’s learning culture for staff? Do you have an established system or is setting aside time for learning gathering dust on your library’s wish list . . . or are you somewhere in between?

Well, good news, it’s never too late to build a culture of learning! Because every library is different, there are endless ways to instill learning in your organization.

Take, for example, the gamified readers’ advisory for staff that was created at the Whatcom County Library System (WA). Or the one-hour-a-week approach that the small staff at Spartanburg County Public Libraries (SC) instituted.  

Sometimes the prospect of limitless options can lead to paralysis, as explained by Betha Gutsche in Anytime + Anywhere = Never: Motivating the Self-Directed Learner.

In addition to this paradox, the Washington Library Trainers identify a wide set of barriers to self-directed learning and recommend ways to overcome those barriers, including a six-point concrete plan for success.

WebJunction has many self-directed resources for you to peruse, but we’re particularly excited for the free webinar on August 24, Build Your Learning Culture: The Whole Organization Approach, presented by Jami Carter, creator of the self-directed achievement model.

This webinar is for all library staff, from front line to administration, and will encourage a broad approach to creating organizational learning structures. Join us to learn how libraries of all sizes can map learning strategies to highlight the most impactful opportunities for staff.

Reading Conversations: RA for All Library Staff

Whatcom County Library System (WA) gamified their learning culture with the BINGO Reading Challenge.

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Recent Articles on WebJunction

We feature new WebJunction articles on our homepage each week. Here are some of our most recent additions.

Igniting a Love of Reading: CCPL's SPARK Program Removes Barriers

Cecil County Public Library (MD) combined community feedback with reading achievement research to create SPARK, a program that encourages students in 5th and 6th grades to read more over the summer in three key ways: 1) by removing barriers to libraries such as transportation and fines, 2) by allowing students to select their own reading materials and 3) by engaging with highly skilled librarians. Learn the innovative, resourceful and fun ways CCPL implemented and has continued this program.

Igniting a Love of Reading: CCPL's SPARK Program Removes Barriers

Before Bilingual Storytime: Strategies for Successful Outreach to Latino Communities

If we know simply offering a new program to a new audience isn't likely to be successful, what are strategies to ensure better attendance at the programs and to build relationships with patrons new to the library? That's the question Katie Scherrer and Lauren Simon sought to answer in the recent webinar Before Bilingual Storytime: The Outreach Bridge to Engaging Latino and Spanish-speaking Families. The duo presented strategies for engagement with Latino and Spanish-speaking communities, in particular, showed real-world examples of successful connection with these varied communities, and laid out a basic outreach process that you can adapt for your own community. Read more and watch the archived webinar for free.

Before Bilingual Storytime: Strategies for Successful Outreach to Latino and Spanish-speaking Communities

Social Library, Volume 63

This edition of the Social Library features libraries who are partnering in various ways to provide programs and incentives to patrons. We see many of the partnerships clearly represented in the Facebook posts, including a state-wide reading challenge, a children's dental health program and storytimes in unlikely locations. And for others, we're guessing that libraries have connected with local vendors for in-kind contributions in the form of ice cream or backpacks filled with school supplies. Find out about all the exciting ways libraries are engaging with their community in the latest Social Library.

Social Library, Volume 63

Upcoming Webinars

To access all upcoming events and archives, go to the Events Calendar.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Beyond the Job Description: Ten Practical Tips for the New Rural Library Director

On paper, your job description as a library director may not cover some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving a small or rural community. Juggling the nuances of a new position can be overwhelming, but equipped with a tool belt of everyday skills ranging from assessment to communication and outreach to time-management, you can move through your new role with confidence. This session will be useful for anyone interested in strengthening their role in the library, even if you aren’t a director. Come learn from Jennifer Pearson, a successful new director at Marshall County Memorial Library (TN), 10 fresh tips for working with staff, boards, and the community to create a strong and vibrant library. Join us and bring your tips and ideas to help new directors succeed! This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Build Your Learning Culture: The Whole Organization Approach

Jami Carter, creator of the Self-Directed Achievement Model, is back to help you build your library's learning culture! The most innovative workplaces embrace learning as an essential activity for their employees. Since libraries are dedicated learning places in our communities, it is crucial that we practice learning intentionally and internally. But where do we begin? Learning is not one-size-fits-all for individuals or for organizations. This webinar, for all library staff, from front line to administration, encourages a broad approach to creating organizational learning structures. Learn how libraries of all sizes can map learning strategies to highlight the most impactful opportunities for staff.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Additional Online Learning

WebJunction Course Catalog

Our Course Catalog is free and open to library staff everywhere whenever you are ready to learn. We offer library-specific self-paced courses, webinar archives and other great learning materials.

Certificates of Completion are available to help library staff meet CE and LEU credit requirements. Create your free account and start learning today.

Other Free Learning

July is flying by, but there are many opportunities for free training left this month. In fact, there are 14 free webinars waiting for you on topics spanning difficult conversations, managing a government project, website inclusivity and marketing. These training opportunities are compiled and shared by the Wyoming State Library. Highlights in this month's webinar offerings include:


Join the Discussion

Library staff from around the world are sharing library news and resources in our satellite communities on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Join in!

New to WebJunction?

Learn more about us and how we support learning for libraries. Our resources are free thanks to the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OCLC and many state library agencies.