New eCourse for the non-reference librarian

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/17/2015


Liz Steiner

Marketing Manager

ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new eCourse, Basic Reference Skills for Non-Reference Librarians facilitated by Francisca Goldsmith. This four-week eCourse starts Monday, April 6, 2015.

Are you new to the reference desk? The ability to provide reference services is a valuable skill for every librarian, but proper training is essential. Basic Reference Skills for Non-Reference Librarians, is a full-online course designed to help librarians who have never done reference work get up to speed.

Francisca Goldsmith is an experienced reference librarian and instructor who will demonstrate and instruct you on what you need to know about working the reference desk. You’ll start with the basics of communicating with patrons and conducting a reference interview, and then you’ll be familiarized with important resources that will allow you to successfully assist patrons. Finally, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to continue to train yourself after the course so you can keep expanding your capabilities.

After participating in this course, you will:

  • learn a variety of reference interviewing tactics to use with diverse groups, including:
    • Adults
    • Youth
    • Community members new to English or with communication disabilities;
  • understand how to evaluate online resources and become acquainted with government sites providing quality information related to health, law and consumer affairs;
  • be able to confidently present information that satisfies community members’ reference questions;
  • become aware of relevant publications, social media platforms and recommended readings that will help you continue to develop your reference services skills.

About the Instructor

Francisca Goldsmith has worked in public and academic libraries across North American, for more than 25 years before becoming a full-time library staff development consulting and instruction – much of it through California’s IMLS-funded Infopeople Project. Most recently, her focus has been on supporting public library staff and administrators in responding to community needs for access to health-care information. Her library experience and consulting includes frontline reference work, collection management, branch services management, and teen services development and advocacy.

Registration for this ALA Editions eCourse, which begins on April 6, 2015, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an Internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 3244 or

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.