Public Library Training Courses

Suitable for all staff who work on the library floor including volunteers

Playing your part in the library welcome

A fast, practical and enjoyable course in active customer-care skills, specific to libraries. This course will help everyone who works in a customer-facing role develop the skills and confidence to take responsibility for customer engagement - and not just sit behind a welcome desk. Suitable for both public and academic libraries.

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  • Frontline staff
  • Public libraries
  • Curated discussion
  • Self-assessed

Putting readers first

Understanding what readers need and how they choose is the basis for a fresh approach to connecting with your customers. These ideas have been tried and tested in hundreds of libraries and they are easy to implement anywhere. Full of free downloads for displays in the library and digital promotions by email or social media, we guarantee this course will give you a new enthusiasm for your job. 

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  • Frontline staff
  • Public libraries
  • Curated discussion
  • Self-assessed

Developing empathy with children as readers

This course takes you on a journey to understand your own childhood and adult reading to inform the way you can best support children and young teens to develop as readers. Find out how to talk about reading in a way that is non-judgmental and relaxed. Whether you are a keen reader yourself or a very occasional one, the course will help to develop skills to grow self-esteem in young readers.

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  • Frontline staff
  • Public libraries
  • Curated discussion

  • Self-assessed

Talking with readers made easy

What do you say when someone asks you if the library has got any good books? A practical course to get you more comfortable with starting book conversations and more confident in making reading suggestions.  You don’t have to be a big reader yourself, or have masses of book knowledge, it’s all about learning to listen and using your readers as a creative resource.

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  • Frontline staff
  • Public libraries
  • Curated discussion
  • Self-assessed
  • Requires library access

Suitable for all staff who seek to engage readers and promote books with displays and merchandising

Merchandising the bookshelves

Merchandising means displaying products so that they stimulate interest and entice customers to make a purchase. Libraries have nothing to sell other than ‘a good read’ but we can adapt retail techniques to boost performance and to help readers make fresh discoveries. This course teaches how to give those unloved shelves a makeover!

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  • Library assistants and librarians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback

Creating powerful promotions

This course will give your library displays some new bite! You will develop skills in targeting audiences and understanding reader motivations to support successful programs.  Learn how to engage your readers more deeply than with the standard seasonal themes. Working across collection areas and age groups, you will explore how to find readers for older and less well-known books as well as new ones.

 

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  • Library assistants and librarians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback

Engaging with readers

A course to help staff create a buzz in the library through deeper engagement with readers. Learners will develop their personal skills and confidence to start great conversations about books across fiction, non-fiction, different ages and tastes. Attractive downloadable resources enable readers to recommend to each other plus there’s a project to use what readers say to boost the popularity of the library.

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  • Library assistants and librarians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback
  • Requires library access

Managing first impressions

Learn to see through your customers’ eyes! This course develops skills in analysing the library’s most important spaces then taking practical steps to improve the customer experience. Learners will build simple routines to sustain high standards and control the library environment. Suitable for both public and college libraries.

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  • Library assistants and librarians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback
  • Requires library access

Understanding book appeal

Keeping up to date with stock knowledge can seem impossible within the time constraints of a modern library service. This course teaches how to analyse the marketing messages of book covers as a short cut to being able to offer readers exciting choices and relevant recommendations. Working across the whole stock offer, there are quick tools to check the range and balance of what’s on the shelves.

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  • Library assistants and librarians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback

Suitable for managers with strategic responsibilities

Audience development

Explore different models and ideas to engage and grow the audience of readers at your library.  You will consider how to segment audience  groups with diverse needs and preferences and how to target in order to reach a wide range of people. Starting from the reader will bring a new energy to your promotions and the coursework tasks will enable you to experience this powerful dynamic and showcase it to others.

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  • Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor

Animating the collection

Understanding the purpose and techniques of book promotion and merchandising is essential in the contemporary library. How we can present books and ebooks so that visitors find them easily and enjoy the experience of choosing. Learn how to introduce new dynamic practice, build a strategy and gain staff support to implement techniques which will boost your issues. This course will help you bring your books alive and get them into the hands and minds of readers.

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  • Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor

Observation research

To improve the library experience for your customers, you need objective evidence about how people are using your space and resources.  Observing and recording anonymous customer behaviours is a powerful way to gather this.  This course will introduce the basic methods with easy exercises to build your experience and the opportunity to design your own observation too. Use these techniques to get beyond a familiar workspace and staff assumptions to what your customers actually see and do. Suitable for both public and college libraries.

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  • Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor
  • Requires library access

Practical outreach

This action-learning course will take you through the steps of targeting, planning and running a small-scale outreach project. You will focus on using the power of the reading experience to make new connections beyond the regular management of books and buildings. The target group and shape of the project will be developed to suit your own circumstances. Your course mentor will support you to undertake a relevant and progressive project that has a measurable impact and lasting value.

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  • Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor
Fiona Edwards

Which course is right for me?

Contact Fiona Edwards on fiona@openingthebook.com.

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