The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer

The Accidental Public Library Technology TrainerAccidental technology trainers find themselves unexpectedly responsible for technology training—in labs, classrooms, or one-on-one with users or staff. Every library is providing some kind of technology training these days. Even if you are just answering questions “on-the-fly,” an organized approach will result in better service and save time and money.

In this four-week blended learning course, you'll learn great tools and techniques, solutions to the most common concerns of library technology trainers, and helpful, personalized advice from many years of coordinating and providing training for public libraries. Through a combination of live webinars, independent assignments, and online discussions, you’ll discover how to best help participants learn, how to save time planning and designing training, how to create an interactive learning experience, and how to best communicate about technology.

For a complete course description, please review the course syllabus.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the conclusion of this four-week course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and apply learning principles;
  • Incorporate hands-on activities that increase learning and retention;
  • Effectively organize, design, and plan training; and
  • Apply best training practices from other libraries and experienced trainers.

Who Should Attend

Public library staff who are responsible for providing technology training—in groups or one-on-one—to patrons or library staff; library staff responsible for managing library technology trainers; library staff who are responsible for providing training of any kind, including digital literacy.


Stephanie Gerding, moderatorStephanie Gerding is a librarian, author, and trainer with over 15 years of professional experience working with libraries, nonprofit, and government organizations. As an independent library consultant, Stephanie plans and conducts training for thousands of participants around the world in grants, technology, train-the-trainer, digital literacy, planning, advocacy, and online training topics. She has managed statewide training programs at New Mexico and Arizona State Libraries, worked as a library trainer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, taught graduate-level online courses, and is a certified trainer for the Public Library Association. She is the Training and Outreach consultant for TechSoup for Libraries. Stephanie is an author of three books, including The Accidental Technology Trainer and Winning Grants.  She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and charming seven-year old daughter.

Dates & Times

Four-week course, September 8–October 3, 2014.

For complete course description, please review the course syllabus.

Certificate of Completion

Participants who complete the course work will receive a certificate for 10 hours of participation.


  • PLA Personal Member: $139.00
  • ALA Personal Member: $169.00
  • Nonmember: $199.00

Technical Requirements


This online course will be offered on the Moodle e-learning platform.


The course will also include two interactive webinars that will be presented using the WebEx platform. You may listen to the audio portion of each webinar via your computer's speakers, headphones plugged into your computer's audio jack or USB port; or by dialing in with your telephone (your carrier's charges may apply) or Skype (by following the process outlined by Skype to place calls to land lines).

Although no microphone is required, participant interaction during each webinar may be by voice instead of text-based chat if all participants are able to access the audio via VoIP and have either a microphone or headset with microphone.

How to Register

DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR THIS ONLINE COURSE IS 4:30 PM CENTRAL ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014. Due to technical preparations for the online course we are unable to process any registrations after this date/time.

To register with a credit card, click here to begin the online registration process. On ALA’s Online Registration page select the “Register” link next to the course you wish to attend. You will need to enter your ALA ID and password. If you do not have an ALA ID and password, you will be asked to create one. Please note: Once your registration is processed, you will receive a receipt/confirmation e-mail containing additional information about accessing the online course.

To register with a purchase order or by mail, click here to download the registration form (PDF, 1 pg.). Complete the form and submit it with your P.O., or with a check. Faxing/mailing instructions are on the form. Faxed or mailed registration forms must be received by the posted registration deadline (above). Forms received after the deadline will not be processed. Please note: Once your registration is processed, you will receive a receipt/confirmation e-mail containing additional information about accessing the online course.

If you have a physical or communication need that may affect your participation in this online course, please contact us at or 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752) at least two weeks prior to the registration deadline above. Without prior notification of need, we cannot attempt to provide appropriate accommodations.

Cancellations must be submitted in writing up to two weeks prior to the event. No phone cancellations will be accepted. A $25 processing fee will be deducted from the registration amount. Please mail registration cancellations to American Library Association, ATTN: MACS, Online CE Registration, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611; fax to 312-280-1538; or e-mail to Refunds will be processed after the event. PLA reserves the right to cancel a course or workshop for insufficient registration or other reasons.


Amy Sargent Lundy, Manager of Professional Development
800-545-2433 ext. 5024