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Online Courses for Library Techs
Let's take a look at some courses that can be completed online through various programs in library technology.
Students in an Introduction to Libraries course learn about library philosophy, the importance of information access, and the role of libraries in societies throughout history. Terminology specific to library and information sciences is introduced. Students also study various types of libraries and begin to consider career preferences.
A Library Organization and Circulation course teaches students about the policies, procedures, and tools governing the organization and circulation of library materials. The Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal classification systems are introduced, along with various search tools and methods for acquiring materials. Also discussed are methods for organizing, cataloging, recalling, and processing library materials. Additional topics include registering patrons, handling requests, inter-library loans, and late fee processing.
Topics of discussion in a School Libraries course include the library technician's role in teaching information literacy and encouraging full utilization of available services. An emphasis is placed on the specific needs of primary and secondary students. Students also learn about state-specific certification requirements for technicians working in K-12 school libraries.
A Library Customer Service course teaches students approaches for ensuring customer satisfaction, including effective communication and problem solving. A strong focus is placed on diversity recognition with regard to how users' needs vary by culture, native language, generation, and educational background. Issues specific to access are also emphasized. This includes a discussion of resources for the visually impaired, such as large type, braille, and books on tape, in addition to the importance of book mobile outreach to those who can't easily get to a library.
A Collection Development course covers the basics of developing and managing both print and electronic collections. The roles of special and reserve collections are also introduced. Students learn to effectively assess user needs, as well as learning methods for selecting, acquiring, and evaluating materials. Safe practices for storing, handling, maintaining, and preserving materials are also taught.
Students in a Library Technology course examine strategies for effectively integrating new technologies into library operations. Key issues include emerging technologies for viewing media, library systems automation, database utilization, electronic resources availability, and technical literacy.
In an Elementary and Secondary School Media course, students learn best practices for the management and facilitation of a library media center. Differences in centers at elementary, middle, and high schools are explored, and class assignments may include research into the varied programs offered at media centers.
Just as the name implies, a Reference Materials course focuses on considerations for selecting reference materials for a library. The course may include a project where students select 100 print titles and 10 online resources that they would choose to purchase for a collection. Reference resource sharing through interlibrary loans is also discussed.
A Children's Literature course, on the other hand, familiarizes aspiring library technicians with children's literature so they can choose high-quality materials for a library collection. Students have the opportunity to analyze the literacy value of a wide variety of texts intended for children of different ages.
Individuals interested in becoming library technicians might pursue an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) or Certificate in Library and Information Science Technology. The curriculum for some programs can be completed entirely online, while others might include an internship requirement. Courses focus on the acquisition, classification, processing, and maintenance of individual materials and entire collections, all with an emphasis on technical and computer literacy skills.
Aspiring library technicians can find many relevant undergraduate courses in online formats. They include studies in library operations, materials, and technologies.