Enroll in Facilitator Training: Civil Legal Justice Through Public Libraries

WebJunction /

In March 2021, WebJunction will host a free, three-week learning group facilitator training program. In this online course, participants will receive training on how to guide peer learning groups through the Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice (CPCLJ) series of self-paced courses. This training is part of WebJunction’s Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries training initiative in partnership with the Legal Services Corporation.

The Facilitator Training will prepare you to provide the structure and support that will enhance learning for group members as you lead your peer learning group through the CPCLJ self-paced course series. The CPCLJ self-paced courses are free and available to any public library staff who wants to learn about the important role libraries play in access to civil legal justice and how to assist those seeking legal information. However, civil law is complex and much of it is local, with answers depending on where you are located and what jurisdiction governs the issue. The content of these courses is especially well-suited for a local library (county, regional, or statewide) learning group to work through together.

The Important Role of a Facilitator

Peer Learning Groups are most effective when someone assumes leadership for guiding the group through the structure and pacing of the course material. A smart facilitator helps group members connect with the course content and with each other so that learners can enjoy the benefits of a learning group environment. Group learning has many benefits: providing motivation and accountability, adding diverse perspectives, and building community. Plus, learning together is often simply more fun (see Learning Together the Supercharged Way).  

You don’t need to be knowledgeable about the self-paced course content in order to be an effective facilitator. The Facilitator Training will augment your facilitation skills—how to maximize learning in a group, keep participants motivated and on track, foster the sharing of ideas and resources, and boost each other’s confidence in answering legal questions. This opportunity is great for training coordinators, librarians interested in collaborative staff development, or anyone passionate about learning with others to augment the role libraries can play in access to justice issues. You will finish the training better equipped to lead a cohort of peers through the CPCLJ self-paced courses.

What will you learn about group facilitation?

As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how a peer learning group functions and the value of learning in a group 
  • Provide the support and structure to lead a learning group in an organization, region, or network 
  • Acquire the best practices, skills, and strategies to facilitate peer learning groups on any topic 
  • Apply facilitation practices to guide a learning group through the self-paced Civil Legal Justice courses 
  • Acquire basic familiarity with the Civil Legal Justice content to be able to manage a learning group’s time and expectations 
  • Work collectively with group members to build their library’s resources, skills, and partnerships to better serve the civil justice needs of their communities.

What are the expectations of participants?

  • Participate in the online learning community from March 8 – 26, engaging in online discussions and completing assignments
  • Attend two live online, instructor-led sessions on March 15 and 22, 2:00-3:00 EST
  • Be prepared to devote approximately six hours of work, including the live online sessions
  • Participate in post-training evaluation activities.

Who is a good fit for this training?

This training is intended for anyone interested in collaborative staff development through group learning and in improving civil legal justice services in their library. You might be frontline support staff, a dedicated reference librarian, or a library manager. Or you might be a training coordinator seeking ways to leverage online content while building connections across your library, system, or state. You might even be a law librarian or legal aid provider interested in developing the legal reference skills of local public library staff.

How do I enroll?

  • Enrollment for this course is now closed. To stay up to date on additional information and resources about this project, please subscribe to our newsletter, Crossroads.

Additional questions? Please contact Brooke Doyle (doyleb@oclc.org), Project Coordinator, Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice. To learn more about the project and learning opportunities, visit the project page at oc.lc/legal-justice.

This project is made possible in part thanks to financial support from these organizations: