ALA eCourse "Social Media Basics: Engaging Your Library Users"

Event Information


Monday, January 7, 2013 - 9:00am to Monday, February 4, 2013 - 5:00pm

Event Type: 

Continuing Education - Webinar

Event Category: 

Customer Service
Professional/Personal Development

CEU Hours: 





LibraryLinkNJ is subsidizing the cost for 10 individual members to take this online training from the American Library Association.  The price to you is just $50! That’s a 71% discount off the list price of $175.

Please send payment (purchase order or check payable to LibraryLinkNJ) to:


44 Stelton Road, Suite 330

Piscataway, NJ 08854

LibraryLinkNJ subsidizes the cost of each class to make high-quality, low-cost training available to staff of member libraries. Please pay registration fees promptly.

If you require an invoice before you can submit payment, please email your request to Nanette Cox - ncox@librarylink


Estimated Hours of Learning: 24
Certificate of Completion available upon request

Learning outcomes

  • Ability to use the accounts you’ve set up in at least two of the four social media sites covered in this eCourse for your own professional purposes or for your library
  • Understanding potential applications of these sites as a way of reaching and assisting library users and other library colleagues
  • Knowledge of how to harness these sites as reference tools and learning tools in library staff and public training programs
  • Using resources from the eCourse to become more proficient on your own

Are you new to social media? Have you been intimidated by the idea of getting started with sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter?

If your library doesn't have a presence on these social media sites, you are missing an important chance to make vital connections with library users as well as with other libraries. And once you get the hang of it, social media can be the most fun you’ll ever have sharing your library with others.

 In this eCourse, designed for new and inexperienced social media users, Paul Signorelli will take you through the basics of social media, showing you how you can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter to connect with a library audience for reference, library instruction, outreach and marketing. With his guidance, you’ll set up social media accounts that your library will actually be able to build upon and use once the eCourse is over.

eCourse outline

Week 1: Introducing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ for Library Staff

  • Social media offerings as tools rather than taskmasters
  • How library staff and other trainer-teacher-learners are using them
  • How each tool works independently and how they can work together
  • Getting started: branding yourself through your social media tools
  • Setting up your first account: Twitter
  • Case study: using Twitter to create a library social learning center at an ALA Conference

Assignments for Week 1 will include:

  • Completing introductory readings on the topic
  • Writing an appropriate Twitter profile that can be used in other accounts and putting it on the bulletin board for this eCourse
  • Establishing an account in Twitter
  • Choosing at least five people to follow
  • Writing your first tweets to colleagues in the course

Week 2: Building Upon Existing Tools: Combining Twitter with Other Social Media Tools for Reference and Library Learning Programs

  • How to deliver reference and/or learning opportunities 140 characters at a time
  • Expanding the virtual classroom: social learning centers without walls
  • Facilitating online discussions in Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Setting up Your basic LinkedIn account
  • Case Studies:
    • Reference and learning through LinkedIn discussion groups
    • Natalie Binder’s #libchat (facilitated Twitter discussions for library staff and students)

Assignments for Week 2 will include:

  • Completing introductory readings on the topic
  • Establishing an account in LinkedIn
  • Expanding your Twitter profile for LinkedIn
  • Writing your first LinkedIn postings
  • Linking your tweets to your LinkedIn postings
  • Locating and subscribing to at least one library-centric discussion group on LinkedIn, and posting the name of the group in the Week 2 bulletin board for this course
  • Contributing to the course LinkedIn discussion group by starting a discussion thread and contributing to at least one other thread
  • Exploring Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to monitor and manage your social learning accounts with hashtags (#)
  • Reviewing the Twitter feed that Natalie Binder facilitates at #libchat (username: @nataliebinder)

Week 3: Reference and/or Learning in Facebook and Google+

  • Training-Teaching-Learning 101: transforming reference and training into learning
  • Between tweets and blogs: moving beyond the 140-character limit without writing a full-length blog posting
  • Facilitating online discussions via social learning tools
  • Working through Google+ Hangouts
  • Beyond Hangouts: Skype, Google Chat/Talk, and more
  • Case study: providing reference and/or learning opportunities within a Google+ Hangout

Assignments for Week 3 will include:

  • Completing introductory readings on the topic
  • Establishing an account in Facebook or Google+
  • Establishing or updating your Facebook or Google profile so it is compatible with your LinkedIn and Twitter account profile
  • Creating a Facebook friend group or Google+ circle that includes at least five of our colleagues in the eCourse
  • Finding and following accounts of at least three users associated with libraries, including Sarah Houghton, Jill Hurst-Wahl, and Jeffrey Hamilton
  • Listing these users on the Week 3 bulletin board for this eCourse as a resource for your classmates
  • Writing your first Facebook or Google+ postings and exploring how they differ from what you write for Twitter and LinkedIn

Week 4: Bringing It All Together in an Onsite-Online World of Training-Teaching-Learning

  • Introduction to blended reference/learning—best practices
  • Mobility in reference and learning: augmentation, not replacement
  • Levels of engagement
  • Delivering reference and/or a learning opportunity via a social media tool
  • What’s next

Assignments for Week 4 will include:

  • Completing introductory readings on the topic
  • Bookmarking  at least five resources that you will use as reference/learning tools
  • Creating a post in one social media tool you are using and translating that into an appropriate post in another social media tool you are using
  • Designing and posting, in the Week 4 forum, a reference/learning activity you can use with your library learners, or organizing a synchronous or asynchronous discussion on a reference/learning topic using either Twitter, a LinkedIn discussion group, Facebook page or a Google+ Hangout

How this eCourse Works

The eCourse begins on January 7, 2013. Your participation will require approximately six hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to

  •    Read, listen to or view online content
  •    Post to online discussion boards
  •    Complete weekly assignments or activities

Instructor Paul Signorelli will monitor discussion boards regularly during the four-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on January 7 or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.

User Requirements

Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Editions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.

About the Instructor

Paul Signorelli has more than 20 years’ experience as a learning leader for libraries and other organizations and businesses. As Director of Staff Training (six years) and Volunteer Services (14 years) at the San Francisco Public Library system, he created, implemented, and managed numerous training plans. He continues to serve as a writer, trainer, onsite and online presenter, and consultant for a variety of organizations and remains active in the American Library Association Learning Round Table and with ASTD (the American Society for Training & Development), where he has held leadership positions at the local and national level, including his current role (January 2011-December 2013) as a member of ASTD's National Advisors for Chapters. He can be reached at, through his website (, and through his Building Creative Bridges blog.


Required Participant Commitment:

All eCourse participants must already possess access to the technology necessary to participate - see User Requirements above.

Participants are required to commit to do the following:

  1. Participate fully in class activities each week of the course
  2. Complete the course and all assignments
  3. Act as a resource to their colleagues on this topic

Online Access Information:

After the registration deadline, LibraryLinkNJ will purchase a "seat" for the eCourse from ALA to each particpant.  LibraryLinkNJ will then send instructions to each participant on how to complete their registration with ALA.

Further technical information is at the ALA TechSource FAQ page.

This eCourse is hosted by ALA and no one at LibraryLinkNJ can help you with technical problems, so please follow the instructions from ALA and read everything carefully in advance of the first class.

Once you have received instructions from LibraryLinkNJ and ALA and have any questions about access, you can contact Dan Freeman at ALA - or call him at 312-280-5413.

Registration Information



Deadline for Registration is 4 PM on Monday, December 17, 2012.  A waiting list will be available.

IMPORTANTRegistering for this class commits you to submitting payment and to taking the class.  No cancellations or refunds are possible for ALA eLearning discounted offerings.

When LibraryLinkNJ purchases a seat in an ALA eLearning class or course, there is no possibility of our receiving a refund.  This means, if you change your mind about taking this course, we cannot give you a refund.  This is important for you to know, as this is different from the refund policy for LibraryLinkNJ programs.

UserAccount: You need a User Account to register for any CE event.  If you have not done so already, go to ( and set up your User Account.

If you have any questions, call Joanne Roukens at 201-874-6885 or Sophie Brookover at 732-943-6109 between the hours of 9 am - 5 pm.


LibraryLinkNJ, The New Jersey Library Cooperative
44 Stelton Road, Suite 330, Piscataway NJ 08854
Phone: 732-752-7720 | Fax: 732-752-7785

LibraryLinkNJ Website Use Policies

LibraryLinkNJ, The New Jersey Library Cooperative, and its services are funded by the New Jersey State Library,
which is responsible for the coordination, promotion, and funding of the New Jersey Library Network.