Self-Directed Learning

Many national organizations provide free or affordable professional development opportunities to library staff. Here are some we are aware of:

Provides free, self-paced training courses on a variety of library topics through their Course Catalog. Check their Webinar Calendar for upcoming live sessions and links to past recordings. A program of OCLC Research.

Provides a mix of free webinars and fee-based courses to help staff at different levels achieve continuing education goals. Many of their course offerings can be used to complete the ALA Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) program. They also offer consulting services to help library administrators assess their learning culture, design instructional materials for onboarding and staff development, and more. Maintained by the Califa Group, a nonprofit consortium of 230 California libraries.

American Library Association – ALA eLearning
ALA provides a variety online opportunities to meet the needs of library professionals. View the ALA Online Learning Offerings by Unit to find materials curated by the different divisions in their area of specialization.

Library Juice Academy
Connects learners to courses on in-demand library skills and emerging trends, many related to technology and digital services. Participants can earn Continuing Education Units (CEU credits) through fee-based courses that are mostly asynchronous – so learners can complete as their schedule allows. They also offer certification tracks in User Experience, Leadership & Management, Cataloging & Technical Services, and more.

TechSoup E-Learning Courses
Offers courses to help library staff and other nonprofit workers learn how to use productivity software, analytics tools, social media tools, and more to meet their mission.

Create Your Own Path to Learning
The Library Creation and Learning site, developed by the Colorado State Library, is your portal to library continuing education opportunities and information. Provides links for learners to explore information about Collection Development MakerSpaces, Library 101, and other important topics that help library workers be successful.

New Public Library Directors’ 101 Series
New to the public library director role?  Or considering becoming a director in the future? This course is designed to provide a snapshot of need-to-know items for new public library directors, with videos and additional resources.

ABLE (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
The free, online Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE) Program provides basic library knowledge and skills for staff with no formal library education. Learners can complete brief certification courses in Collection Development, Technical Services, and Public Services.