There are a variety of professional development offerings — many of them free or low-cost — that can help library workers and volunteers serve new Americans to their best potential.
Suggested Action Steps
- Prioritize the areas in which you most want to grow your staff skills. Does your library need to focus on ELL courses for adults, teens or children? Marketing and outreach to new American populations? Providing cultural competence/humility training for desk staff?
- Explore professional development and continuing education opportunities available to you and your staff. This may include in-person or online courses from national membership organizations like ALA or the Public Library Association or offerings from your state or regional library association.
- Determine your available budget for staff training in this area. If you are unable to allocate any of your current funds, investigate free options for now, and prioritize professional development funding in your next budget cycle. Even a few hundred dollars can make a big difference. You may also apply for grant funding to support these efforts.
- American Dream Literacy Initiative
- ALA’s Programming Librarian Interest Group on Facebook (request permission to join, ALA members and non-members welcome)
- Grant-Writing 101: Basics for Programming Librarians
- How Cultural Intelligence Makes a Difference in the Information Profession: Are You
- Culturally Competent?
- Cultural Humility
- Cultural Competency in Youth Librarianship