Career Development Facilitator (CDF) Training Program

Program Description


American Library Association (ALA) President (2015) Courtney Young partnered with ALA Chapters to provide training for a national cohort of librarians from a cross section of libraries to become certified Career Development Facilitators (CDF). 

Created by the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the CDF curriculum provides comprehensive training designed to address several facets of career planning and the job search.  This specific CDF training for ALA Chapters was tailored with special emphasis on the role of the librarian in helping patrons and job seekers.  By offering this innovative training to those in state chapters, participants are now able to assist their peers as well as the numerous patrons at their local libraries. 

The program began with two days of intensive face-to-face workshops just prior to the ALA 2015 Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.  Afterwards, the training moved to a virtual classroom format for an additional 14 weeks.  The training ended with each participant giving a presentation via Skype.

Training was conducted by Dr. Caitlin Williams, a highly skilled career development coach/trainer/educator with over 20 years’ experience facilitating individual and organizational growth and success through designing and delivering leadership, career development and executive education programs, and through assisting organizations in their talent management efforts.  Dr. Williams has been a long-time consultant for ALA members on career-related issues through the ALA JobLIST Placement Center.


List of ALA chapter representatives who completed the training


Summaries of Presentations


Arizona / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Illinois / Iowa / Michigan / Nevada / New Jersey / Ohio / Oklahoma / Pennsylvania / Tennessee / Texas / South Carolina / / Vermont / Washington / West Virginia /


ALA Chapter: Arizona Library Association

Representative: Michelle Simon, Program Coordinator, Business and Career Development Services, Pima County Public Library, Arizona


Presentation Title: Job Help in a Box


Every day, over 300,000 people use library resources for their job-seeking activities (OCLC, 2010). Public libraries, regardless of size and budget, strive to provide assistance to these individuals. Some customers need dedicated, one-on-one assistance, while others can be self-directed. Often times, these individuals struggle with the advances in technology and may have the basic computer skills to fill out an online application.


Job Help in a Box is a new initiative that will provide useful tools for any library; for use with any individual of working age. The goal of the project is to provide a scalable model for the provision of job help services. The “Box” includes step-by-step guides, program templates, editable handouts, information logs, resume worksheets, career exploration resources, and online training resources. Materials will be available electronically, in a format that can be updated easily. The use of these tools and resources will leverage the strength of collaborative library partnerships throughout the state.  Job Help in a Box will benefit both staff and patrons through efficient interactions and increased access to relevant resources.


ALA Chapter: Connecticut Library Association

Representative: Jenna N. Mayotte, Business Resource Center Coordinator, Simsbury Public Library, Simsbury, CT


Presentation Title: Plan B for Boomers


When it comes to Baby Boomers, unemployment rates don’t tell the whole story. Older unemployed workers may take significantly more time to find another job. And they often find themselves changing directions, sometimes dramatically, to find satisfying work to hold them until they can retire. Used to being in charge or at least being middle management, many are unprepared to be starting a job search at this stage of their lives.


This group is already a significant user of public libraries, and librarian assistance, as well as services for the unemployed, has ranked highly on a list of important library services (Pew, 2013); offering personal career services for unemployed Boomers is a great fit for expanding or enhancing existing library services and programs.




Article: Older Baby Boomers More Engaged at Work Than Younger Boomers


ALA Chapter: Delaware Library Association

Representative: Alta Porterfield - State Coordinator for Delaware Division of Libraries’ Inspiration Space (Career Development)


Presentation Title: Career Development in the Libraries:  How to Help the Entrepreneur, Small Business or Jobseekers Target Their Dreams


Libraries have always been the go-to-place to seek help when looking for a job, starting and choosing a career or creating and developing a business. We all see that the internet did not replace the libraries instead it increased the amount of patrons asking us for help- taking up more and more staff time.


Learn new tools, especially digital tools to help our patrons and save staff time!  Alta Porterfield is the state-wide, coordinator for the Delaware Division of Libraries’ Inspiration Space (Career Development) and the Delaware Library Association’s representative for the Career Development Facilitator's (CDF) Program.


This was the program presented at the Maryland and Delaware Library Association Co-Conference-May 7, 2015


ALA Chapter: Florida Library Association

Representative: Alan Kornblau, Director, Delray Beach Public Library


Presentation Title: The Big Picture: An Orientation for Job Seekers


This program will be geared towards public libraries, and what they can offer workers of all skill levels.   The focus for this program will be helping people entering or revisiting the job marketplace. The orientation will give an overview of library services and materials, and then focus on today’s workplace (where the jobs are), and what it takes to succeed. This will be a primer for subsequent workshops that focus on more specific topics like resume writing, interviewing, and networking.


This orientation program will build on existing services and is intended to be a prerequisite for what we already offer in the way of job searching. It is to be offered on a monthly basis, and made a staple of our job related programming for the public.



• Familiarize people with the public library, especially if they are new patrons.

• Make people more aware of what job opportunities are available and how to find them.

• Help people learn something about themselves through informal assessments.

• Ultimately, get individuals on the path to a successful and rewarding work experience.


This orientation program will feature live, in-person, group sessions and there will be some technology involved, like an introduction to the library’s website via computer and projector.


Success will be measured by how many people return to the library for follow-up programs and services.  Surveys will give us vital feedback on ways to improve offerings going forward. (234)


ALA Chapter: Illinois Library Association

Representative: Julianne F. Keaty, Evergreen Park, Illinois/Virtual Services and Special Events Coordinator


Presentation Title: Increasing Job Resources in a Small/Medium Sized Library.


Explore the resources our library can offer our patrons from the Reference desk, on the website, links to databases and in our programming.  Review what resources we currently have and work on how to be the "go to" resource in our community.


ALA Chapter: Iowa Library Association

Representative: Alysia Peich, Continuing Education Consultant, Iowa Library Services-Des Moines Office


Presentation Title: Flexible Learning Opportunities for Providing Career Support in Iowa Public Libraries


A blended course will provide Iowa public librarians with the training and resources they need to help their patrons with career development. The in-person portion of the course will be a two hour workshop that uses activities to help librarians assess patron needs and understand how they can create a supportive environment for career seekers in their libraries. The online portion of the course will consist of asynchronous modules designed to teach librarians how to use available resources when assisting patrons with career needs. Course content will be geared towards small, rural libraries where community career resources are scarce.


ALA Chapter: Michigan Library Association

Representative: Cathy Wolford, DALNET – The Detroit Area Library Network


Presentation Title: Providing Career Services to Diverse Populations in Varied Communities


I.          Introduction

A.  Michigan Library Association Background

B.  My Background


II.         Overview of Charge and Timeline

A.  Generate Interest During MLA Conference Presentation

1.  Conference held in suburban Detroit - October 2015

B.  Develop a 1 Day Workshop for MLA

1.  Workshop to be done in Spring 2016


III.       Where to begin?

A.  What Programming Already Exists in Michigan Public Libraries?

1.  Contacted Various Public Library Directors

B.  Survey – Upcoming

1.  MLA Office will be sending out a survey

2.  Help me with comprehensive overview throughout the state


IV.       Helping Relationship

A.  Building a Relationship

1.  Nonjudgmental point of view

2.  Career transitions are stressful

B.  Empathy

C.  SOLER Skills

D.  Comparison to a Reference Interview

E.  Open and Closed Ended Questions


V.        Educating the Librarian/Library Professional

A.  Ethics

B.  Schlossberg Transition Theory – 4-S Model

C.  Diversity and Career Services

1.  Changing demographics

2.  Changing workforce

a.  Varied technology comprehension levels


VI.       Job Search Sites

A.  Evaluation

1.  Current? Valid? Free from Bias?

B.  Amount of information

1.  Don’t overwhelm

2.  Technology Skills Evaluation Form

C.  Resources

1.   Occupational Outlook Handbook

2.   ONET

3.   Pure Michigan Talent Connect (State of Michigan Job Board)

4.   MeL (Michigan Electronic Library) Jobs Gateway


VII.      Job Seeking and Readiness

A.  Networking

1.  Various forms

2.  LinkedIn

B.  Resumes and Cover Letters

1.  Electronic vs. paper format

C.  Mock Interviews

1.  Use of service groups

2.  Use of human resources department

D.  Interview Follow-Up

1.  Thank you note

2.  Encouragement


VIII.     Interaction with Audience (contingent on workshop focus)

A.  Signature with both hands

B.  Card Sorts

C.  Super’s Career Rainbows

D.  Holland Party Game


IX.       Evaluation of Success

A.  Number of attendees

B.  MLA consideration of financial success

1.  Not just breaking even

C.  Well received by library community

1.  Request for additional venues throughout state or webinar


ALA Chapter: Nevada Library Association

Representative: Steve T. Dimoulas, Nevada/Health Sciences Librarian Public & Academic Libraries


Presentation Title: Facilitate Career Development Opportunities for Middle age to Baby Boomers Populations


Baby Boomers represent the majority of political, cultural, industrial and academic leaders in the U.S. today, mid-life adults who graduated from college 30+ years.


This program will be a new initiative based Southern Nevada’s Clark County hard hit age group segment that require retooling-retraining because they were impacted the most with the recent down turn of the economy.


The goal is to better facilitate these group segments to have easier access to efficient timely resources. This will be an ongoing program held in the College of Southern Nevada Charleston Campus Library part of their first semester orientation in order to catch them early for successful career path planning.


The workshops/lectures will be in-person and we will have weekly follow up face-to-face support sessions (15-20 minutes) to anyone that needs continual guidance after the workshops.


ALA Chapter: New Jersey Library Association

Representative: Karen Klapperstuck, NJLA Past President & member of the Leadership and Education Subcommittee of the Professional Development Committee


Presentation Title: Job Search Tips and Career Information: A Video Series for Librarians and Library School Students


New Jersey is a geographically small state with a dense population. It hosts an MLIS program at Rutgers University and a large population of MLS/MLIS students who commute to Drexel University in Pennsylvania and Pratt Institute in New York, as well as hundreds of students in online MLS programs. Rutgers does not have a specific placement office/officer for the SCI (School of Communication and Information) Library Science program or for SCI; new students rely on the placement office for the entire university.


The CDF training as offered by ALA will serve as a part of our continuum on leadership and training - the NJLA started offering the Committee Internship Program this year for library school students to get more involved in the Association. NJLA also offers the Emerging Leaders program for those working in the profession for 5 years or less. In an effort to round out NJLA's offerings in that area as well as offering assistance to unemployed/underemployed librarians and those seeking different employment, I will create a series of videos on topics related to types of libraries and job search information. These videos will be made available on the NJLA website and might lead to brief webinars through the NJLA Adobe Connect subscription.


I will work with the Leadership and Education committee and the Professional Development committee to put together all the videos. Sharon Holderman (TN Library Association) and I discussed partnering and sharing videos as well. I would like to have some videos available by September and add more videos in the following months. I will also offer a presentation at the 2016 NJLA Annual Conference on the CDF experience and the projects that came from our participation.


I will work with the NJLA committees to develop a way to gauge our success and to make adjustments where necessary to optimize the use of the videos.  (309)


ALA Chapter: Ohio Library Council

Representative: Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Regional Library System


Presentation Title: Coming Soon…The Career Center @ NEO!


Where are the jobs? Should I go for this promotion? Would I like management? How can I go back to school? I haven’t updated my resume in years! What’s a behavioral interview?


There are just some of the questions facing library students and staff in today’s quickly changing work climate. As job duties and skill requirements change and innovative services are added, it becomes even more important to find the right place to be to enjoy a career in libraries. As a result of the training and ideas I gained through the Career Development Facilitator program, I plan to introduce centralized services to meet these and other career and professional questions at “The Career Center @ NEO,” at The Northeast Ohio Regional Library System. Through the “The Career Center @ NEO,” our regional staff will be able to offer career counseling and support, as well as workshops, webinars and resources to help library staff from students to directors. We all know libraries provide the very best careers around – and NEO wants to help others find their best fit in this wonderful industry!


ALA Chapter: Oklahoma Library Association

Representative: Phil Clark, Business Outreach Coordinator – Pioneer Library System


Presentation Title: “Five Star” Career Development Resources and Service


This will be a new initiative and focus for the Oklahoma Library Association and will feature future workshops and trainings.  The goal will be to encourage library staff to improve and enhance the services they are currently offering related to career development.  Many libraries in Oklahoma are in more rural locations with limited resources that struggle to assist residents with career and employment resources. 


During the beginning months the Oklahoma CDF Representative will be available to present the program and experience to boards and committees, regional meetings and at libraries around the state.  The CDF will also start writing articles for the state association’s publication, The Oklahoma Librarian, as well as the website. 


With feedback from these presentations the CDF will development trainings and workshops moving forward.  Oklahoma librarians that take part in trainings and education will report that they are more confident and knowledgeable when providing services and resources related to career development.  The ultimate outcome will be tangible results for our library patrons across the state: clients who are better equipped when completing the tasks associated with searching for employment and the confidence to choose the jobs and careers that fit them best.


ALA Chapter: Pennsylvania Library Association

Representative: Tina Hertel, Director, Trexler Library, Muhlenberg College


Presentation Title: Facilitating Career Development Facilitation across a Big State


Pennsylvania libraries and librarians are at various stages of providing career development resources and services to their patrons.  Pennsylvania itself is very large, with urban and rural areas, places of higher unemployment and lower unemployment. Libraries and librarians want to position themselves by providing services that greatly benefit the community they serve.


An initial presentation will take place at the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference in October 2015, targeting any librarian from across the state wishing to learn more about the Career Development Facilitator program and how they can provide basic career development services. Additionally, an article and survey will also go out to the membership early summer to help inform the overall needs and process. Subsequent presentations, webinars, and workshops will be tailored to different types of libraries (rural, urban, small, large, etc.). Another goal will be to pull in others for a state-wide committee to help prioritize and guide the process.


Goals of the program include:          

* Assess needs and gain an understanding of current career or employment services offered at libraries.

* Educate library directors and librarians on the possibilities of effective career related services.

* Create a state-wide committee or council for Career Development @ Your Library.

* Provide webinars and presentations on various aspects of career development to better prepare     librarians and to raise their confidence in these areas.

* Provide an online toolkit for librarians to gather general information and resources for assessment, job search strategies, and career development. Promote best practices.


Through this initiative, librarians across Pennsylvania will receive training and background to provide career development services to their community.  Librarians will be able assess the career development needs in their community, prioritize those needs by utilizing a scalable toolkit for career development resources and service implementation at their libraries, then grow their programs through webinars, workshops, and resource development. (307)


ALA Chapter: Tennessee Library Association

Representative: Sharon Holderman, Coordinator of Public Services, Angelo & Jennette Volpe Library, Tennessee Technological University


Presentation Title: Advancing Library Careers in Tennessee


The Tennessee Library Association (TLA) wants to expand its career services beyond resume reviews at its annual conference and introduce virtual career services.  People will be able to get library career services through resume reviews, mock interviews, mentoring, and self-serve videos and resources.  This presentation will detail the tentative offerings as well as show an example video ( 


ALA Chapter: Texas Library Association

Representative: L. G. Swift


Presentation Title: Texas Libraries United: A Career Guide for Developing Career Centers in Preparing Texans to Apply for Work and Locating Work for Texans


Unemployment in Texas

•  Demographics

•  Computer literacy

•  Average length of time unemployed

•  Those not counted

•  Statistics


Current library workforce classes in Texas libraries Fort Worth

•  Houston

•  Dallas

•  El Paso

•  Rio Grande City


Designing or enhancing and existing career/job center

•  Size of program dependent on staff size, budget and partner

•  Computers available for job search strategies

•  Adequate number of staff assigned

•  Bilingual staff a necessity in Texas

•  Space constraints

•  Furniture needs


Library tools


•  Workforce related classes:

Introduction to computers basics

Basics of Email

Using the Internet

Creating a Letter

Working with Files

Creating a cover letter and a resume

Interviewing skills

Networking basics


•  Workforce websites:

Applying for unemployment benefits in Texas

Registering for WORKINTEXAS.COM   

Texas Workforce Commission – Jobseekers and Employers

Registering for Texas Labor Market and Career Information


•  Career assessment tools


The right test

Target audience

Using the results

Lists of assessment tools


•  Education/planning/training


ESL and Spanish classes

College admissions

Choosing a major

Help in choosing the right college 


•  Working with those recently released from prison

Nationwide, as many as 60 percent of ex-prisoners are unemployed one year after their release from prison


•  Working with those recently finishing armed services


•  Working with the homeless


•  Serving the multicultural needs of job seekers


•  Importance of volunteers in a Library Career Development Center?

Finding the right volunteer


Job descriptions

Volunteer training

Volunteer praise

Volunteer separation


•  Importance of partnering with Texas Workforce Solutions in developing classes


•  Assessment and follow up of library workforce programs


•  Funding for Workforce Classes in Texas (255)



ALA Chapter: South Carolina Library Association

Representative: Kevin Reynolds, Dean of the Library, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC


Presentation Title: Building Career Services for the South Carolina Library Association


The presentation provides an overview of the planning, implementation, assessment, and proposed future directions for a career services program centered in the South Carolina Library Association. Once fully established, the focus of the program will be to provide career guidance, including services such as resume review and career counseling, to individuals working in libraries, or who wish to work in libraries.


ALA Chapter: Vermont Library Association

Representative: Cindy Weber, Stowe Free Library – Library Director, Vermont


Presentation Title: Vermont Library Association – Career Development Council: Formation, Intention, and Implementation


The VLA Board has set guidelines for the planning and implementation of this new initiative, which began with the VLA Board’s request to participate in the CDF training sponsored by the ALA. Expectations include: presentation of a poster outlining the initiative at the May 2015 VLA Conference, creation of a council to guide decision making, and a presentation at the May 2016 VLA Conference. VLA members serving as volunteers will execute the implementation of this initiative, and it will evolve in phases. The initial stage will be about planning, focusing on service and sustainability. Resource aggregation, training, and programming will follow.


The goals of the program are:

(1) to create an aggregated career development resource list with links to be housed on the Vermont Library Association’s website and hard copy local resource reference lists for each of the fourteen counties;

(2) to develop a career assistance and training program that will be useful to all Vermont librarians who seek guidance on assisting their patronage and students, and

 (3) to provide programming/outreach for targeted audiences.


Initial plans include the creation of a strong council including representatives from the 14 counties of Vermont. Communication regarding the progress of this initiative will be provided via state listservs and VLA newsletters. Resource aggregation will be the first phase, followed by training and programming.  Success will be measured through an organized resource list and participation in training and programming. (234)


ALA Chapter: Washington Library Association

Representative: Aileen Luppert, Librarian | Spokane County Library District


Presentation Title: Advancing Career Development Services in Washington Libraries


While the overall unemployment rate in Washington is low, it varies greatly from one county to the next, and does not account for the large number of people who remain underemployed.  The level of career development services in public libraries is equally wide-ranging. 


Over the next year, Spokane County Library District Librarian Aileen Luppert, will share “knowledge and techniques” in a variety of ways.  These will include conference sessions, webpages, newsletter articles, and webinars.  The goal is to offer enough material and ideas so any Washington library can find a way to expand its career development support for its patrons.  For some that may be only a general familiarity with the topic and resources.  For others, it may result in additional direct service. 



ALA Chapter: West Virginia Library Association

Representative: Amy Lily, Director of Raleigh County Public Libraries, West Virginia


Presentation Title: Offering Career Services in Your Library – One Size Doesn’t Fit All


The focus will be on the long-term unemployed due to incarceration, addiction, disability, etc. Resources offered in libraries will attract individuals uncomfortable with requesting services through traditional avenues.  Libraries are a primary hub for computers due to the lack of high-speed internet throughout most of the rural areas of West Virginia; so individuals utilize our services to apply for jobs but may not realize other ways libraries can assist.


A model will be created for others that will incorporate elements that can be used by large or small libraries. The program will include a collection of online resources and suggested print resources to purchase or borrow through interlibrary loan for small libraries with limited budget. A series of online instructional videos will be produced and shared. These videos will be geared towards the patrons and include interview tips, dos and don’ts on your résumé, and how to dress for a successful interview. Sample online job applications will be created so patrons can practice completing one. Finally, a brief guide for staff on how to conduct a “career hunter’s reference interview” to direct patrons towards appropriate resources even with limited staff or time will be created.