Staff Development

Our goal is to provide quality staff training and continuing education resources for every library staff member on the Eastern Shore. Below, you will find resources for professional development, and I encourage you to explore the websites, sign up for trainings, and ask questions. Please email Alicia Blake with any questions, suggestions, or concerns. 

Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities

A list of opportunities from a wide array of resources is emailed to each county’s Staff Development Coordinator every Monday (unless otherwise noted). If you are not receiving this correspondence, please get in touch with your Staff Development Coordinator.

Don’t miss out on upcoming conferences, webinars, workshops, and other opportunities brought to you by organizations such as the Eastern Shore Regional Library, Maryland State Library, State Library Resource Center, American Library Association, Niche Academy, and more!

(Maryland Libraries Training) – Maryland State Library has purchased Niche Academy. A variety of courses are now available to staff in public, academic, and school libraries. Please use your library work address to self-register.

GALE Online Learning Portal – Some of Gale’s resources combined into one page: Gale Courses, Udemy, and Peterson’s Test and Career Prep. Accessible with your library card.

Available to library staff in public libraries, this special subscription focuses on improving digital literacy skills. Create your learner account today!

Subscription Services: Maryland State Library provides funding to make these available for free to library staff. Thousands of courses and materials are available 24/7; all you need to do is register using your work email address:

Thousands of courses, books, and articles on many business and technology-related topics – from customer service to cybersecurity. Available for anyone with a Maryland public library work email address. Click on the link and “Create an Account” to get started.

Library-related learning opportunities in various formats, including live and archived webinars, courses, and resource materials. 

Library-Related Online Training Resources: Discover 16 organizations that provide library-focused training and learning resources.  Many online resources are free or low-cost. Click here for a direct link to those sources.

By Topic: Discover a wide range of archived webinars from a variety of topics. Click here for a direct link to that site.

Online Training Databases & Websites to Know

This academy is purchased and updated by ESRL and is free to any library staff member under the eight-county library systems. Please use your library work email to self-register.

This takes you directly to ALA eLearning to provide courses, webinars, and customized eLearning content for library and information workers. Self-register and log-in.

SLRC: The State Library Resource Center, or SLRC, offers a variety of professional development opportunities for librarians in Maryland.

PLA: The Public Library Association (PLA) is a division of the American Library Association. This link will take you directly to their website’s “Conferences & Continuing Education” section.

Maryland State Library Agency Library Subject Guides: 20 (and counting) different libguides created by the Maryland State Library Agency.

Merlin (Maryland’s Essential Resource for Library Information Networks): A one-stop shop for all things Maryland Libraries. Find calendars and sign up for training, direct links to Maryland library-related sites such as SLRC, network with other library folks from around the state, and learn about Maryland Library world’s alphabet soup under “Library Lingo” – check it out!

Polaris: Training & Learning Resources: A new training website from Innovative, built on the LibGuide platform, for storing and sharing training resources. This includes: Polaris guides, How-To articles and videos, recordings of live webinars, navigation tips, and more!  

Public Library Policy Collection: This website was established to provide small, rural libraries with easy access to a variety of policies. This is available for anyone to search, browse, and download example library policies. Note from the site: “Please keep in mind that any policy you utilize should be reviewed and customized according to your local and state laws. And, of course, it’s always best practice that you discuss major changes with your board (even seeking approval).”

Microsoft 365 Training Hub: A one-stop-shop for all things Microsoft 365 including, Outlook, OneDrive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. Learn the basics with self-paced videos, explore training templates and guides, and download cheat sheets and infographics.

OBI University: A new EDI learning platform! The Othering & Belonging Institute is a free hub of learning and community for people committed to building a more vibrant, just, equitable and inclusive world.

These SHARED training opportunities relevant to public libraries are provided by: Maryland public library systems and regional libraries, Maryland Library Association, and the State Library Resource Center. Free webinars and conferences from out-of-state libraries and library-related organizations are also listed, along with significant statewide meetings and events. Some training and events are available by invitation only.