The Alien Genre Project is a five-week experiential learning activity that has readers’ advisory as its primary focus. The idea is to ask participants to think of a genre or subject that they don’t normally read and then immerse themselves in it so that they come away from the experience with the ability to converse with patrons who are seeking books in that area. The Project’s secondary objective is to get participants to play with technology, such as screensharing and ebooks, that is highly relevant to the work of readers’ advisory librarians. This course is suitable for public librarians working in adult or young adult services. For the convenience’ sake, the course was designed to be asynchronous; however, there is one real-time group activity. Participants must have access to an ebook reader. Knowledge of Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Slides is desirable but not required. 


Do you wish you felt more confident when faced with a business reference question? Want to demystify SIC and NAICS codes, ROI and 10k's? Then Business Reference 101 is for you! This four-week, Web-based professional development course is designed for academic, special or public librarians and other researchers and library staff who have a basic understanding of some business resources but who do not work with them often enough to build expertise. The course will provide students with a framework for understanding the business reference process as well as an overview of business reference sources specific to each of the course modules (see below). Business Reference 101 participants will also have access to proprietary business reference databases such as Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage, Gale's Business & Company Resource Center, Morningstar, IBISWord, Plunkett Research Online and ReferenceUSA, among others.

Business Reference 101 is a distance education, Web-based course tailored for public, special and academic librarians and other researchers and library staff who may feel somewhat intimidated when faced with business reference questions. It is a "101" approach, meaning that it is primarily targeted at those who are not very familiar with this subject area. Seasoned business researchers could take Business Reference 101 as a refresher course to brush up on their skills.

Genealogy 101 provides an introduction to American genealogy reference service. Utilizing case studies, the course outlines basic genealogy research sources and strategies. Topics covered include the U.S. census, vital records, immigration research, military research, and a variety of other basic genealogy sources. Students also receive instruction in reference desk strategies and tools for further professional development. The course covers archival material, print reference tools, and online sources. Designed for reference staff with little or no experience in genealogy, the course provides tools for assisting patrons with family history research, with the ultimate goal of giving students confidence and skill in assisting family history researchers.
Students will learn to use the Instructional Design Process and apply it effectively to library instruction which includes: identifying instructional problems, learner analysis, task analysis, defining instructional objectives, sequencing content, identifying instructional strategies, message design, instructional delivery, and evaluation instruments. This course will utilize the Morrison, Ross, and KEMP Instructional Design Model.
Reference Interview is a comprehensive course focusing on the methods of evaluating reference service, behavioral aspects of reference service, and the different types of questions that can be used to help patrons identify what they need. Using images, audio, and video, this in-depth educational approach covers everything from the approachability of the librarian to how to follow up with a patron. Scheduled chat sessions will model interviewing techniques using sample dialogues. Reference Interview is tailored for support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their interview skills.

Whether you are a newly-minted librarian or a senior administrator, communication is an essential part of your work. You communicate with library users, with your colleagues, and with your stakeholders. And chances are, you wish you could communicate more effectively.

In this course you will refine your ability to create effective professional documents and give oral presentations. This requires you to think well, write well, and design well. It also requires you to use the relevant technology effectively. Assignments and activities are designed to help you prepare for real-life situations. This course is demanding but the principles learned will help you succeed in your career and apply throughout your life.

The scope encompasses both oral and written communications, and basic visual design for written documents and presentation slides. The approach is interactive, with some instruction delivered in live sessions, and assignments including written documents and live presentations.

Students' time will be equally divided between instruction and assignments, requiring a total of between two and three hours each week. On Thursdays, instruction will be live, through Adobe Connect, while the rest of the instruction will take the form of self-paced learning modules and slidedocs, combined with online discussions through Moodle. Assignments will consist of written documents, both live and pre-recorded oral presentations, and exercises in document and slide design. Some assignments will require working in teams.