WA Secretary of State Blogs

Keeping our library workforce well trained.

people sitting at a table with laptopsOne of the roles we take very seriously at the State Library is making sure that the library workforce in Washington is kept up to date with the latest, and greatest information about the skills needed to be a success in the 21st century.  We do this in a variety of ways, First Tuesdays webinars, specific in person trainings offered at sites around the state, professional development grants, support for WebJunction and subscriptions to Skillsoft and Lyrasis trainings .

The first of these, the First Tuesdays webinars, are accessible to anyone in the state or even the world.  We host a webinar every month on a wide variety of topics, selected to be both timely and forward thinking as well as appeal to a broad range of library staff.  Recent topics , “Let’s talk about race in Storytimes” to “Public data and privacy protections”, “Legal Reference – The Basics” give you an idea of the range of topics we cover.  People from all over the country and even outside of the U.S. attend these webinars. All the webinars are archived on our YouTube channel allowing anyone to watch, at a time that is convenient to them.

We also offer live trainings at libraries around the state.  A couple of upcoming trainings are “Self-Talk and Emotional Intelligence: Improving your Work Narrative” and “Screen Scene: Best Practices for Using Screen Media with Young Children” . These trainings are offered at no charge to library employees.  simply register, show up and learn.

Every year we work with our teacher librarians to identify their specific needs for training.  Last year WSL trained over 350 teacher librarians in Digital Citizenship offering trainings at dozens of sites around the state.

Professional Development grants are an amazing, and not very well known, resource for Washington library staff. Any individual who works in a Washington library at least 10 hours a week can apply for a grant.  By applying for a PD grant, organizations can help their staff pursue special interest topics by attending conferences, workshops or seminars. In addition organizations may apply to bring a specific training into their library. Most libraries who receive one of the organizational grants open up the training to other local libraries.

We certainly love WebJunction here at the state library. WSLhas supported them from the very beginning and continues to support this incredible growing library of online trainings.  If you’ve ever taken a WebJunction course you know what high quality webinars and trainings they offer.

Skillsoft is a collection of resources specifically designed for continuing education in libraries. Classes are offered in communication, interpersonal skills, leadership, management and a whole suite of technology applications.

In short, if you want to learn it, we probably provide a means to get you there.  Please explore some of these links. We hope you will take advantage of all we have to offer.

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