WebJunction Wrap-Up: 2023 Highlights and Top Picks
As we ease into another year of learning together, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the projects and accomplishments of the past year and highlight some our most popular courses, webinars, and articles. Whether you chose to take self-paced courses on your own, or you attended one of our webinars to connect with library practitioners in real time, we couldn’t create this community of learners without you. That’s why we’re also revisiting some of the most popular WebJunction content of the past year—picked by you!
Explore this sampling of articles from the past year, including several written by library practitioners and interviews with people doing good work in libraries across the country.
- Sustainable Libraries: Resources and Webinars for Climate Action: We hosted a series of webinars in collaboration with the Sustainable Libraries Initiative team to support libraries in creating a more sustainable future. Rebekkah Smith Aldrich also offers an in-depth overview of our profession’s newest core value across a series of six articles, with strategies for approaching sustainability efforts, and examples of libraries’ real-world work. You can also watch the full series of companion webinars and use the series learner guide to take action on your learning.
- Researching Low Morale in Libraries: Low morale and burnout are topics that have surfaced often in the past few years. Kaetrena Davis Kendrick has conducted extensive research on low-morale experiences in libraries, identifying causes, enabling factors, and possible solutions. Learn more about her work in this interview.
- Partner with Indie Authors to Share Diverse Stories: Libraries are places for everyone, but there’s still work to be done in ensuring that the books inside libraries include everyone. This article features Richard Ashby and his work with Literacy Nation to partner with libraries to expand diversity and inclusion in library collections.
- Adopt-a-Shelf Program Lets Students Create Book Displays: At Valley Point Middle School in Dalton, Georgia, students are encouraging each other to enjoy reading while connecting with peers through their school library’s “Adopt-a-Shelf” program. Read our interview with school librarian Liana Etling to learn more about how students curated their own topical book displays and to check out some fun examples and resources that can inspire kids in your own library.
New and popular courses
We launched eight brand-new courses in the past year, and updated one of our most popular courses. Whether you’re a frontline staff person or work in a management or leadership role, there’s something for everyone here.
- Digital Collections Stewardship course series: Digital collections offer an opportunity to preserve local history, culture, stories, and artifacts. Creating a digital collection can be a resource-intensive process, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. Designed for staff at small public libraries and tribal archives, libraries, and museums, these courses will strengthen skills in digital stewardship and community-centered curation of digital collections and guide you through the lifecycle of digital stewardship from planning and gathering to saving and sharing digital collections.
- Introduction to Crisis Communications for Libraries, Archives, and Museums: This course explores the fundamentals of crisis communications, helping to understand the different types of crises and how to define them. With real-life examples and expert insights, you’ll sharpen your knowledge and evaluate your organization’s crisis preparedness.
- Crisis Communications Planning for Libraries, Archives, and Museums: When a crisis strikes, clear communication and strong leadership are key. From identifying stakeholders to building a dedicated crisis communications team, you’ll learn practical strategies to handle any situation. Our customizable template will empower you to craft a Crisis Communications Plan that suits your organization’s unique needs.
- From Burnout to Balance: Identify burnout causes, manage stress, and boost emotional resilience with this course. There’s something for everyone here, but managers at libraries, archives, or museums will develop skills to promote teamwork, communication, and mutual support in the workplace.
- De-escalation Strategies for Libraries, Archives, and Museum Staff: Learn how to intervene in conflict effectively, enforce policies proactively, and promote an environment where everyone feels secure and valued.
- Supercharged Storytimes: You already provide great storytimes. Supercharge your practice to make them even better! Explore a wealth of resources about children’s early literacy, including more than 30 videos on topics like phonological awareness, vocabulary, involving parents and caregivers in storytimes, and building equitable relationships. The course has been updated and improved to include downloadable video transcripts, as well as a separate index of all downloadable resources and handouts in the course, and provides a new resource on curating diverse collections, Inclusive Collections for Supercharged Storytimes.
We hosted 25 webinars in 2023 on a wide range of topics, including low morale, artificial intelligence, sustainability, community-led planning, and more. Here are recordings of our most well-attended webinars, available anytime. We also explored planning for staff transitions, supporting libraries to create a more sustainable future, and building relationships with community partners. Each webinar also includes a learner guide, slides, and resources for you to expand your learning.
- Low Morale in Libraries: Impacts and Countermeasures: Learn about important research on low morale and leave with actionable ideas for promoting a healthy work environment for all staff and cultivating empathetic leadership in libraries. And be sure to check out the follow-up webinar, Revitalizing Morale: Cultivating a Supportive Library Culture, a panel discussion that covers strategies and solutions for addressing low morale.
- AI and Libraries: Enhancing Services and Engaging Communities: Delve into AI fundamentals, its relevance to libraries of all sizes and types, and how it can enhance services and engage communities.
- Library Safety and Security: A Holistic Approach: This session presents a holistic approach for creating safe environments, through strong community relationships, inclusive policies, and empowered staff.
- Sustainable Libraries: Resources and Webinars for Climate Action: A series of webinars and articles created by the Sustainable Libraries Initiative team, in collaboration with WebJunction, to support libraries in creating a more sustainable future. Webinars in the series, include: Living Our Values Out Loud: Programs that Walk the Talk, Stronger Together: Collective Impact and Climate Action Programming, and more!
- Native Stories, Native Peoples: Opportunities for Library Engagement: This recording features opportunities for library communities to foster understanding and support of Indigenous peoples, past and present.
Thank you for participating in our community of learners here at WebJunction. While on-demand learning is a big part of our mission, we also recognize the importance of bringing library staff together to share, listen, and learn from each other, and we couldn’t do this work without you. Be sure to sign up for Crossroads to stay informed of upcoming webinars and new resources, and explore the Course Catalog to access to nearly 400 self-paced learning opportunities to help you and your team meet your community's ever-changing needs.