Free Webinars, Courses, and Conferences (Feb-April 2013)

by Alexis Stapp, Head Editor, INALJ Minnesota

Free Webinars, Courses, and Conferences (Feb-April 2013)

It’s hard to focus on the education and skill-building aspect of professional development when you’re unemployed, underemployed, or just plain broke.  It’s also tough to research new ideas and practices for your library with the tight budgets so many are facing.  The good news is there are a lot of free courses out there, all waiting for eager registrants to sign up.  Here I’ve collected ten webinars, courses, and conferences, most of which are online, all of which are absolutely FREE to attend!   

The History of Minnesota – Digitized for Your Convenience
Offered by Minitex
Thursday, February 21, 2013 – 12:00 PM – 12:45 PM (CST)
Location: Webinar
Discover hidden gems in the digitization efforts chronicling Minnesota’s past using newspapers, images, documents, and resource guides.

Lower Your Public Access PC Costs
Offered by
Thursday, February 21 – 11:00 AM (PST)
Location: Webinar
Will discuss how to get and set up Windows MultiPoint Server.

Balancing Collection Supply & Demand
Offered by Library Journal
Tuesday, February 26
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM (EST)
Location: Webinar
Webcast will include personal accounts from three expert panelists of using evidence from collectionHQ to balance supply with demand at their institution and how they have been able to enhance performance as a result.

The Future of Online Learning: a changing landscape
Offered by OCLC WebJunction
Wednesday, February 27 – 1:00 pm (EST)
Location: Webinar
Will explore how education innovators are seeking to increase engagement through learner-centered discovery, flipped classrooms, and enhanced online learning.

Big Talk from Small Libraries 2013
Offered by the Nebraska Library Commission
Thursday, February 28 – 9:45 AM – 6:00 PM (EST)
Location: Online
A free one-day online conference for librarians from small libraries.  Topics range from technology to programming to partnering with your community.  Registration is open to everyone, regardless of library size, or whether you’re employed or not (I checked!).

Online Information Literacy and ELM
Offered by Minitex
Thursday, February 28 – 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM (CST)
Thursday, March 26 – 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM (CST)
Location: Webinar
Discuss how ELM (Electronic Library  for Minnesota) can help students understand what information is appropriate and credible for research.

Best Practices for Virtual Reference
Offered by Minitex
Tuesday, April 2 – 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (CST)
Thursday, April 11 – 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM (CST)
Location: Webinar
Hone reference skills and adapt them to the virtual setting.

E-Book Action: Inform and Inspire Your Community
Offered by PLA
On-Demand Webinar available any time
Location: Webinar
Learn about two creative e-book campaigns initiated by libraries, as well as communications template kit to help develop your own campaign.

Resources for other free webinars, etc.:
OCLC WebJunction Events
Library Journal Webcasts
Colloquia – SJSU-SLIS
Library of Congress Webcasts
O’Reilly Media Webcasts – webcasts with a tech bent
On-Demand Webinars – Public Library Association (PLA) – Not all are free, but the free ones are marked

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.