COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions have pushed libraries to create policies and procedures like curbside pick-up and drop-off, online rentals and reservations, and socially distanced lobbies and rooms. In order to stay operational, many libraries have had to rely on technological solutions to keep staff and community members safe, while maintaining access to library resources.
Many libraries have had the same policies and procedures for years, and a lot of sorting, searching, and connection with librarygoers is usually done in person. This sudden switch to remote work surprised us all, and adopting new technology is not always easy. Many library staff and volunteers might not have the skills to react to this change and easily pivot to remote work just yet. TechSoup Courses can help.
Remote Work Skills for Your Library Staff
The pandemic has changed how we operate in both the short term and the long term. Our Courses team is dedicated to helping you learn how to adopt technologies that can help you keep your library running smoothly. With this in mind, we've built a free Remote Work Skills track of courses to help your library get back up to speed with new remote work technologies. It can also help train your staff on cybersecurity, a topic that's increasingly important as we rely more on virtual tools and cloud servers.
Communicating with Your Library Patrons
Physical guidelines and remote tool adoption aren't the only changes that libraries have had to make. Physical announcements on flyers, signs, and bulletin boards used to be a great way to communicate resources with library visitors. With many libraries closed and more visitors staying home, email marketing and communication skills are increasingly important to connect patrons with needed resources and updates.
If this type of communication is new to you, or if you'd like to improve the email marketing skills you already have, we have a self-paced, five-course track that will show you how to create and implement an effective email marketing strategy. If you're looking for social media marketing tips instead, check out our four-course self-paced series with tips and tricks for running effective social media campaigns.
Data Management and CRM Migration
Has the shift to remote work made you rethink how you manage data? In the past, many data tracking tools have been handwritten sign-in sheets or spreadsheets saved on local desktops. If you need help using Microsoft Excel, we have several courses on how to use this software for data management and reporting, advanced methods and pivot tables, or expert-led Q&A sessions.
If you've realized it's time to shift to cloud-based software, the Office 365 Bootcamp will help you learn how to use cloud versions of familiar products. If you're looking to move from spreadsheets into a more robust CRM, check out our course on database migration and planning.
Grant Writing and Management
Many funding sources have changed this year. Some grants have been reallocated, while other new funding opportunities have been created. As we near the end of the year, it's time to start thinking about your plan for the next grant cycle in January. If you're a first-time grant writer or looking to brush up your skills, we've built a new on-demand track of courses to help you develop your plan, build a grant application, and manage reporting and relationships with funders.
The Microsoft Digital Skills Center
TechSoup has a collection of powerful online courses for your library that makes use of great skill-building content from experts at Microsoft. It's called the Microsoft Digital Skills Center.
The Digital Skills Center features free beginner and advanced courses on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also offers affordable courses on the new Microsoft Teams app and Power Bl, the powerful data visualization tool. Microsoft applications have long been TechSoup's most popular donated products. Now we bring you the knowledge on how to use them!
These courses are self-paced and feature contextualized learning with real use cases in bite-sized segments. Your staff and volunteers don't even need to have a TechSoup account to take the courses.
These are some of the most popular course tracks:
- Word — four course levels (free)
- Excel — six course levels (free)
- PowerPoint — three course levels (free)
- Teams for Nonprofits — Collaboration Tools (free)
TechSoup Courses is here to help you and your library learn and grow, especially during times like these. Our courses are developed in-house by our instructional design team in partnership with subject-matter experts. We partner with experts who have significant experience, while applying adult learning methodologies, to ensure that our content is relevant to your needs. If you have questions about what course or track might be best for you, ask our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- See a webinar about the Microsoft Digital Skills Center.
- Find out How Microlearning Can Make Your Training More Effective (and Less Boring).
- Discover how libraries' Cyber Legal Clinics Create Access to Employment.