The last two weeks have been challenging. As library staff, you are most likely seeing a wide range of reactions to the results of the U.S. presidential election. Emotions are raw, many are scared, and now the question is "how can we bridge such divides in the United States?" Your role on the front lines puts you in a special—and, yes, challenging—place.

Julie B. Todaro, President of the American Library Association, reminds us in a statement this week that "During times like these, our nation's 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues."

For you who are working with the community through these times, we encourage you to enroll in our free webinar coming up on January 11, 2017, Service Excellence in Challenging Times, to learn approaches to customer service skills in order to maintain a safe, welcoming environment.

And in the meantime, consider the program and service ideas shared in the School Library Journal article After Election, Librarians, Book Creators Vow To Support Children. Take a look at the resources shared by librarian Jessamyn West on her blog, and look through WebJunction's many articles, webinars and resources in our Access and Equity section for guidance on making your library a more inclusive community connector. We will showcase more in this subject area as time moves forward, and we hope you will share with us your stories of how you are helping your community bridge divides and come together.

But first, keep in mind the announcement that leads off every flight: "Secure your oxygen mask first before assisting those around you." Take time for constructive and healing self-care in whatever form that takes for you, because your role in the library and in your community is as essential as ever.

Recent Articles on WebJunction

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

Gamers' Advisory: Board Games for Two

Board games are picking up steam in libraries and "the golden age of board gaming" is going strong. John Pappas of the Bucks County Library System (PA) shares that in two years of having a circulating board game collection, he's learned that you don't need a large group to play board games, the games don't need take up much space, can be easy to learn and can easily demo at a circulation desk. One of the most frequent gamers' advisory questions he gets is "What would be a good game to play with my partner?" Read this article to find out!

Gamers' Advisory: Board Games for Two

Teens as Partners: Successful Teen Services

WebJunction recently hosted Library Journal Mover & Shaker Courtney Saldana for a webinar on her area of expertise: teen services. The information she shared was very valuable and her enthusiasm for working with teens was infectious. If you are starting or reinvigorating teen services at your library, read her advice on conducting a needs assessment, forming a teen advisory group and more in the webinar write-up and then make sure to view the webinar recording for many additional examples and ideas.

Teens as Partners: Successful Teen Services

Photo by Kelela Wakefield.


3 Ways Libraries Can Channel Understanding in Confusing Times

WebJunction's Jennifer Peterson shares resources and strategies for libraries that can help channel intelligent and compassionate understanding in our communities. The examples address three avenues to explore related to collections, programming and communication.

3 Ways Libraries Can Channel Understanding in Confusing Times

Image courtesy Frank M. Rafik
on Flickr | cc by-nc-sa 2.0

Upcoming Webinars

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


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Engaged Planning: Ask What You Can Do For Your Rural Community

Your community needs the library, and planning for the future of your library begins with understanding the community and their aspirations. Once you understand what your rural community wants and needs, you can assess how the library can help them. In this webinar, understand the important steps of this engaged planning process, including internal assessment, data collection and analysis, trustee involvement, and community conversations. Learn what it means for your library to "turn outward" to secure its place at the heart of your community. This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. Presented by: Cindy Fesemyer, Director, Columbus (WI) Public Library, population 5,000.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Culinary Literacy: A Library Recipe for Cooking Up Literacy and Community

Opening in 2014, the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center offered the country's first commercial-grade kitchen classroom in a library. It is revolutionizing the way Philadelphians think about food, nutrition and literacy. The Center reaches to every corner of the community. Hear how this innovative idea was transformed into reality through strategic community partnerships and institutional support. Learn how your library can start teaching community residents everything from butchering a goat to making a vegan stew, boosting literacy and nutritional health for all. This webinar is part of a series highlighting the work of recent LJ Movers & Shakers and is hosted in collaboration with Library Journal. Presented by: Liz Fitzgerald, Culinary Literacy Center's Administrator, Free Library of Philadelphia (PA), and 2016 Library Journal Mover & Shaker

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time




Coming in January

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Service Excellence in Challenging Times

This webinar will provide approaches to customer service skills especially relevant during times of community turmoil.

3:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Toward Tech Savvy Trustees

Presented in collaboration with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries, this webinar will explore strategies for building the digital literacy skills of your library trustees.

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 recordings 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

Even though November is flying by, seven opportunities remain for you to attend free webinars on library-relevant topics. These training opportunities are compiled and shared by the Wyoming State Library. The last seven webinars in the month are:


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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.