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Professional Development and Continuing Education

Professional development and continuing education opportunities and resources

Community Engagement Workshop & Webinars


Rising Circulation in the Time of COVID | East Hampton Public Library

May 28, 2021

Borrowing at the East Hampton Public Library has been steadily rising for the past four years. Even during the fall of 2020 when many libraries’ circulation plummeted, East Hampton's borrowing increased 3% compared to same months a year before. Library Director Ellen Paul and Children’s Librarian April Hannon outlined how they've been successfully increasing borrowing both before and during COVID, what it has meant for their library budget, what they would have done differently if they could do it over again and how they hope to continue the trend into the future.

This presentation was originally presented at the Connecticut Library Association 2021 Annual Conference: Libraries Meeting Challenges in a Changing World.

Accessibility Is More than a Ramp: Reducing and Interrupting Disability Bias in the Library

May 27, 2021

This workshop took a light-hearted approach to recognizing and interrupting disability-based bias in ourselves and others. Participants learned about respectful disability language and etiquette and had the opportunity to ask questions they have always wanted to ask about disability and disability issues.

Melissa Marshall is a Connecticut attorney nationally known for her expertise in disability civil rights law and her bias awareness workshops. A person with a disability who infuses humor and informality into her workshops, she is personally acquainted with many of the issues she addressed in this presentation.

Family Homelessness and Connecticut Libraries

May 24, 2021

Presented by Vikki C. Terrile, MSLS, MA, this interactive virtual training introduced participants to family homelessness in the United States, specifically family homelessness in Connecticut, and how libraries can support children and families in homeless situations. This training shared:

  • Practical tips for connecting with local schools and community organizations to understand the nature of family homelessness in your community and to reach families where they are
  • A range of services and programming options that you can offer
  • How to address barriers to creating and sustaining these services
  • How to leverage these activities to advocate for families and for libraries

Prior to the Great Recession, families with children had been the fastest growing population to experience housing instability and deprivation; the recession led to dramatic increases in family homelessness that had not abated fully in the years leading up to the COVID-19 crisis. Widespread economic instability and potential evictions resulting from the pandemic are expected to increase the numbers of children and families in homeless situations once again. Within this context, libraries can serve as a key support and community resource for children and parents whose housing is unstable.

Information Session | UniteCT Emergency Rental Assistance for Connecticut with the Department of Housing

March 29, 2021

Marina Marmolejo, Program Manager of UniteCT for the Department of Housing presented this session for libraries to learn more about the UniteCT program and how to support communities. The session included an overview of the program, eligibility across communities, and the online application portal. Resources available in English and Spanish.

Acting through the Department of Housing (DOH), the State of Connecticut developed the UniteCT Program. This $235 million program provides rental and utility payment assistance to qualified Connecticut households financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will financially support households up to 80% of the HUD Area Median Income. Learn more about UniteCT.

Community Asset Mapping for the Curious

March 8, 2021

Many of us are looking for ways to engage more deeply with the communities served by our libraries. In this session, we walked through the concept of asset mapping as a way to reveal the undiscovered strengths that already exist in the community in which the library is situated, and talk about how to use those strengths to build new connections.

Verena Getahun is the library data coordinator at State Library Services in the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). In her role at MDE, Verena coordinates data collection and analysis for the annual report and consults with libraries on using data to communicate their value.

Accessible Library Programs: Making the Virtual World Accessible to Everyone

January 28, 2021

Head shot: Melissa MarshallIn this workshop we explored both a library’s legal obligation to make virtual programs accessible to people with disabilities and ways that you can make them accessible. Resources that you need and tips for creating great programming that is accessible to all were also shared.

Melissa Marshall is a Connecticut attorney nationally known for her expertise in disability civil rights law and her bias awareness workshops. A person with a disability who infuses humor and informality into her workshops, she is personally acquainted with many of the issues she will address in this presentation. 

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