Public Library Training Courses

Suitable for anyone responsible for keeping the shelves looking good

Merchandising Library Shelves

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 will teach you how to make the shelves look rich and tempting at all times.   

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  • Pages and Shelvers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback
  • Requires library access

Suitable for all staff who seek to engage patrons with books and reading

Talking with Patrons about Books

What do you say when someone asks you for a good read? 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 lots of book knowledge; it’s all about learning to listen and using your patrons as a creative resource.

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  • Librarians, Library Associates, Library Technicians
  • Public libraries
  • Curated discussion
  • Self-assessed
  • Requires library access

Dynamic Readers’ Advisory

Understanding what readers need and how they choose is the basis for a fresh approach to connecting with your patrons. Use these new ideas alongside your traditional RA to reach a wider range of patrons. Full of beautifully designed free downloads to support RA in the library and on social media, we guarantee this course will give you a new enthusiasm for your job. 

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  • Librarians, Library Associates, Library Technicians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback

Creating Powerful Displays

This course will give library displays some new bite! You will develop skills in targeting audiences and understanding reader motivations to support successful displays which engage more deeply than the standard seasonal themes. Working across collection areas and age groups, you will explore how to use display to find readers for less well-known books in your collection to take the pressure off those wait lists.

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  • Librarians, Library Associates, Library Technicians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback

Managing First Impressions

Learn to see through your patrons' eyes! This course develops skills in analyzing the library’s most important spaces then taking practical steps to improve the customer experience. You will plan and build simple routines to sustain high standards and control the library environment.

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  • Librarians, Library Associates, Library Technicians
  • Public libraries
  • Personal feedback
  • Requires library access

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 different ways of segmenting patron 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 dynamic to your programs and the coursework tasks will enable you to experience this and showcase it to others.

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  • Library 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 circ. This course will help you bring your books alive and get them into the hands and minds of readers.

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  • Library Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor

Observation Research

To improve the library experience for your patrons, you need objective evidence about how people are using your space and resources.  Observing and recording anonymous patron behaviors 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 patrons actually see and do.

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  • Library 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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  • Library Managers
  • Public libraries
  • Personal mentor
Fiona Edwards

Which course is right for me?

Contact Fiona Edwards on fiona@openingthebook.com.

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