Spring schedule taking shape for RUSA online courses and webinars

RUSA’s online learning opportunities are open to any interested participant. Topics are relevant to a variety of library professionals and library types including public, academic, and special libraries. Most courses are asynchronous—participants log into the course at classes.ala.org and complete weekly coursework at their own pace.

More information about RUSA’s online learning opportunities is available at the RUSA website. Questions about registration for both groups and individuals should be sent to the ALA registration team at registration@ala.org.

Here’s an overview of our current online learning offerings:

    • Introduction to Spatial Literacy and Online Mapping: Through podcasts and hands-on assignments, participants in this webinar will explore uses for geographic information systems (GIS) technology within organizations and also its social uses beyond simple cartography. The course also covers the how-to of online mapping tools such as Google Earth, ArcExplorer, Scribble Maps and Google Maps. The course content is especially relevant for public or reference librarians who want to organize information in a visual or geographic way to benefit the work of the library, to make information available to the community, or any number of needs.
    • Health Information 101: During this six week course, participants will demystify and decode medical terminology then learn the basics of evidence-based biomedical literature searching. They’ll also learn how to systematically evaluate a health website then look at some the best of best sites for medical, pharmaceutical and drug information. The course also addresses health literacy issues and how to create partnerships with hospital and academic medical librarians through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Registration will open on Monday, August 22, 2012.
    • Readers’ Advisory 101: Through practice sessions, participants will learn from instructor and RA expert Joyce Saricks how to use RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal and experiment with methods to offer RA services. Readers’ Advisory 101 is tailored for those at all types of libraries—support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their skills. The topics covered are introductory in nature. This course has scheduled weekly meeting times.
    • Genealogy 101: This course is designed for reference staff with little to no experience in genealogy. Using a case study to frame the coursework, participants will learn about tools and techniques they can use to confidently assist patrons with family history research. A review of archival material, print reference tools and online sources is included in the curriculum.
    • The Reference Interview: This comprehensive course covers such reference interview topics as cultivating an approachable reference environment, successful questioning and listening techniques and appropriate follow-up methods. Staff of all levels at all types of libraries will find this content, presented in a multi-media format, helpful in their day-to-day engagement with library patrons.
    • Beyond Compliance: This unique course is designed to address the virtual and media-related obstacles disabled patrons encounter while accessing library services. Virtual and media-related obstacles are defined as inherent features in an informational medium that prevent equitable access to information. This four-week course will include weekly assigned readings and short assignments, weekly optional chats, and discussion prompts. Students will take away practical advice on creating equitable access to library services and instruction.
    • Introduction to Screencasting for Online Tutorials and Reference: This 90-minute webinar will introduce the screencasting tools and best practices for creating online videos for training, instruction, or reference. Learn about the most popular software used and some key pedagogical factors that help create effective streaming tutorials. Screencasting is a powerful tool for virtual reference and informal communications.