• Library staff have found short instructional videos to be an effective way to help readers use resources, even when the library is closed. However, patrons who are deaf or have hearing impairments cannot get the full benefit unless the videos have captions.
    Unfortunately, technology has not provided a flawless solution. Speech recognition is still an imperfect tool. Planning and attention to detail are needed to create useful and meaningful captions.
    This four week course will introduce some free tools that can be used to compose and synchronize captions for instructional videos. Planning and script preparation will also be explored. Participants will be expected to prepare at least one video with captioning.
  • What does your library offer to somebody in a hurry? Which display works best and how could it do better? What's the first impression people get from your library? Could small changes improve the experience for your visitors? Customer complaints,surveys and load statistics offer limited answers. To improve the library experience for all your visitors, you need objective evidence about how different groups of patrons actually use and experience the space. This course gives you the tools to collect and use that evidence as a basis for making the best investment of your time and effort when making changes.
  • It has been more than 25 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act that outlawed discrimination against people with disabilities in the United States. Libraries have responded with a variety of initiatives. All libraries have a plan for serving people with disabilities, whether it is installation of ramps or creation of special needs story times. But improvements are always possible.
    In this four week course, you will evaluate current library accessibility in areas of physical space, collections, communication, staff development, programming and partnerships. You will explore new technologies, such as mobile apps, that are being used by people with disabilities. You will explore how to include patrons in your planning and implementation process. Then you will begin developing your own plan for improving library services to people with disabilities.
  • This five week course will explore portrayals of the incarceration experience in juvenile and young adult literature. Participants will be assigned to read several books written for young people that include scenes in prison or juvenile detention facilities. Each week a one hour online chat will provide a book discussion about the themes of the books and how they can be used with appropriate readers. The chat can also be a model for librarians who want to lead book discussions for their patrons.