Upcoming Continuing Education Classes

These are webinar and traditional classes offered by the Network and other members of Empire State Library Network. Please see each class description for more information about class location and registration.

Jan 2020

Jan 23 2020 : [Webinar] Defusing Conflict in the Library

Libraries can be stressful environments. They are places where people of different ages, abilities, personalities, and backgrounds come together. Add to a busy environment with lots of demands, and conflicts can spark. What are research-based and practical strategies for calming conflict with patrons and colleagues?

Attendees of this webinar will learn:

  • Strategies for dealing with conflict with colleagues
  • Strategies for dealing with conflict with patrons
  • Verbal Judo basics
  • What happens to our brains and bodies in conflict
  • Scripts and conversation suggestions for dealing with conflict


Presenter: Carrie Rogers-Whitehead worked in libraries for over a decade and is the author of two books for libraries: Teen Fandom and Geek Programming: A Practical Guide for Librarians and the upcoming Serving Teens and Adults with Autism: A Guide for Libraries. She continues work as a library consultant working with various library systems and companies with a focus on technology, programming, communication, teen librarianship and serving diverse populations. Currently, she is the founder of Digital Respons-Ability which provides trainings to tens of thousands of students, parents and educators across the state of Utah. Carrie is also the author of Digital Citizenship: Teaching Strategies and Practice from the field, released by Rowman & Littlefield in July 2019.


Register Here on SCLRC’s website and select ‘Free for SCRLC & ESLN Council Members’.’

*This program is presented by the South Central Library Resources Council (SCLRC) and registration is handled by their staff.

Jan 24 2020 : Human Resources 101 (NCLS) – North Country Library System Watertown, NY 13601

Presented by Susan Mitchell with Guest Speaker Lisa McCarty, JCC

This class is designed to help employees new to the human resources field. Topics include NYS and Federal labor law review, the employee life cycle from recruitment to legal termination, social media guidelines, compensation, benefits and more. Instructor Lisa McCarty is the HR Director at River Hospital in Alexandria Bay and an adjunct instructor at Jefferson County Community College in their Human Resource Certification Program.

Register Here

This is a North Country Library System program.


Jan 30 2020 : [Webinar] Primer on Legislative Visits


In preparation for Library Advocacy Day, the Primer on Legislative Visits Webinar will outline the legislative players and process, explain why contact with legislators is important, and share how to prepare for, conduct, and follow up on legislative visits.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain knowledge on how an idea can become a law and who is involved.
  • Know how to prepare for, conduct, and follow up on legislative visits.
  • Understand the importance of participation in the legislative process for libraries in NYS, other organizations, and daily life.

Who should attend:

  • Library staff, friends, trustees, supporters who have a vested interest in library advocacy or plan to attend Library Advocacy Day.


Jery Y. Huntley: Read her full bio here.

This webinar is free but registration is required. A link to the webinar will be emailed to registrants.

Feb 2020

Feb 20 2020 : DueNorth User Group Meeting

Join us for a DueNorth user group meeting. For our first meeting, we ask users to read the suggested procedures ahead of the meeting and plan to participate in the discussion. The suggested procedures will be shared with users in late January 2020.

Registrants will be emailed a link to join the Zoom meeting.

The DueNorth user group meetings will occur multiple times throughout the year.

Mar 2020

Mar 17 2020 : [WEBINAR] Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in Your Organization (NCLS)

Presented by Todd Battista & Joe Thomas

Both organizations and individuals face cybersecurity challenges daily.  Our webinar will help you:

  • Identify your organization’s “Crown Jewels”
  • Protect what’s important
  • Be able to detect security problems
  • Always be prepared!

Register Here

This is a North Country Library System program.

Apr 2020

Apr 16 2020 - Apr 17 2020 : The X Factor: Enhancing the Library Experience Conference – Lake Ontario Conference Center

The user experience plays a critical role in an academic library’s success. The conference will begin with the staff of ACRL’s Project Outcome leading a hands-on pre-conference focusing on understanding and communicating the real impact our library programs and services have. Keynote speakers will continue the discussion on user experience by addressing changing student and user demographics as well as designing with a focus on the user.

We invite all librarians and library staff to submit proposals for conference presentations, posters, and/or lightning talks. If you are submitting multiple proposals please complete a separate form for each.

Relevant topics include:

  • Online Experience
  • Website Design
  • Service Design
  • Space Design
  • Universal Design
  • Assessment (of websites, services, spaces, etc.)
  • Accessibility
  • Ethnography in Libraries
  • Design Thinking/Personas/Scenarios
  • Supporting Diversity and Inclusivity through Design
  • Propose your own topic!

Sponsored by the Empire State Library Network.

Apr 20 2020 : Your #LibraryStory: Engage Your Community by Communicating Your Impact (NCLS) – North Country Library System Watertown, NY 13601

Presented by Matt Corey with Guest Speaker Megan Mack, Producer for “Connections” with WXXI Broadcasting Council

You know the programs and series provided by your library are valuable assets to the community, but how can you better communicate that value and connect with current and future patrons?  While the importance of social and digital media continues to rise, traditional broadcast and print media remain effective methods for reaching large audiences.  This presentation will explore the nest tools and practices for engaging your community.  From press releases and newsletters, to social media strategies, to pitching to journalists in a variety of media, you will learn how to customize your strategy for shaping and sharing your library stories.  This presentation will also include hands-on exercises that incorporate group discussions and brainstorming.

Register Here (In-person, Watertown)

Attend the event in-person at the North Country Library System in Watertown or register for one of two video conference sites:

This is a North Country Library System program.

Apr 20 2020 : DIY Step by Step: Infographics & Newsletters (NCLS) – North Country Library System Watertown, NY 13601

Presented by Celicia Robbins, Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library

Infographics and newsletter are essential to engage patrons, volunteers, and politicians in the success of your library  However, creating engaging infographics and newsletters can be a very daunting task.  In this class, you will learn how to utilize the programs already on your computer and FREE online websites to create professional projects.  Learn the pros and cons of free, per download or subscription-based graphics.  Please bring basic statistics about your library (patron visits, checkout numbers, programming number, etc.) as you will be able to create a simple infographic during class with step by step instructions.

Register Here

This is a North Country Library System program.

May 2020

May 14 2020 : Crisis Communications for Nonprofits – Northern New York Library Network Office


Crisis communications consultant and interim chair at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University Michael Meath will lead a free workshop designed to provide participants with a simple formula to follow to help preserve their organization’s reputation during its most critical hours.

The world of crisis communications has changed dramatically. People no longer wait for organizations to put together lengthy responses that explain and justify their actions. At the same time, without thoughtful, careful responses a crisis can grow worse with great velocity. “Crisis Communications for Nonprofits” is a free workshop that will give organizations an actionable plan to properly and appropriately handle the unexpected.

Learning Objectives

Following this workshop, participants will:
1. Recognize the different types of crises and how each has the ability to impact their organization’s reputation;
2. Understand the difference between issues management and crisis management and communications, and how organizations can prepare to manage each;
3. Learn the five (5) key strategies to effective crisis communications, and practical examples of each.




Michael Meath
Interim Chair & Professor
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Syracuse University

Over the last thirty-five years, Professor Meath has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, CEOs, boards of directors and legal counsel from a wide variety of organizations around the United States, who have looked to him for his strategic insight related to government and public relations, crisis communications and reputation management.

In 2014, he sold two businesses – one based in Washington, DC, and a second company based in Syracuse. He continues to work as a consultant to a select number of high-profile clients around the country, and is often sought after to speak at conferences and meetings across a wide variety of industries. Since 2006, Professor Meath has taught public relations management, ethics, and crisis communications at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He currently serves as interim chair of the Public Relations Department at Newhouse.

He holds a master’s degree in communications management from SU’s Newhouse School, and a bachelor’s degree in business management & economics from the State University of New York. Professor Meath is He serves on several non-profit boards across Upstate New York, and is an FAA certified private pilot. Learn more at www.michaelmeath.com.


May 19 2020 : Library Management for Directors (NCLS) – North Country Library System Watertown, NY 13601

Presented by Susan Mitchell, North Country Library System

Calling all library directors—or anyone interested in becoming one! Round out your existing skillset with this introduction to library management.

We’ll cover the core skills you’ll need to recruit and manage staff, understand your role in library governance, develop policies that align with best practices, and make sure the library is telling its story to the community and to legislators. We’ll also address important planning topics, such as assessment of library services, budgeting and developing a strategic plan.

There will be plenty of support materials and worksheets available to help you put your new skills into action. Join us!

Register Here (In-person, Watertown)

Attend the event in-person at the North Country Library System in Watertown or register for one of two video conference sites:

This is a North Country Library System program.

Jun 2020

Jun 30 2020 : Libraries and Legal Issues (NCLS) – North Country Library System Watertown, NY 13601

Presented by Susan Mitchell with Guest Speaker Stephanie Adams, Lawyer

The popular Ask the Lawyer service which is sponsored by the Empire State Library Network is staffed by Buffalo attorney Stephanie “Cole” Adams, who first developed a deep connection to libraries working as a page, then clerk, at her hometown library in New Hartford, NY. Ms. Adams went on to work at the libraries of her Alma Maters, Hampshire College, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. She served for over 10 years as the in-house counsel at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY. An attorney admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of New York, Ms. Adams has extensive experience with the issues confronting information professionals. Ms. Adams works closely with WNYLRC and other library councils to craft useful replies to member library questions. Stephanie will spend the day at the NCLS office in Watertown conducting workshops and hosting an open forum Q & A session. We’ll put out a call for any legal questions you may have before the big event.

Register Here

*Time to be determined 

This is a North Country Library System program.



Archived Presentations

Please click here to view presentations from previous classes.