Some public libraries are already advertising Universal Class to their patrons, but information will be sent to all Vermont public libraries this summer.
Using the department link, signing up for Universal Class is super easy. Once you have an account, you are free to take any class you'd like. You can "audit" a class, which means no assignments or exams, but no grade, certificate, or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) at the end. Taking a class traditionally (or, as you would other online courses) means doing short assignments and exams, and receiving feedback from classmates and instructors. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end and CEUs, a record of which is available on your Universal Class account.
Classes range from the very basic to moderately challenging. There are time estimates for each course, but that will vary on your writing and reading speed.
Right now I am taking "Effective Email Communication in the Workplace" as an introduction to using the Universal Class system. This is the sort of undertaking that is ongoing- maybe a few lessons every once in awhile when things are slow. You can take as long as you need to finish a class, so there's no need to stress. This is continuing education in its purest form.
After perusing the entire Universal Class catalog, I've listed the courses I thought would be most useful to youth services librarians. Taking a class is the best way to learn about the service, and you will be better prepared to share it with your colleagues and patrons. If you're psyched about one of these courses, go online, check it out, and then browse the whole catalog. Have fun!
Direct Service To Children
- Building Children's Reading Skills
- How to Teach Reading Fundamentals
- Behavior Management 101
Understanding Your Patrons
- Early Childhood Development 101
- Autism 101
- Bullying in Elementary School
- Middle and High School Bullying
- Understanding Learning Styles
Expanding Your Library
- Fundraising 101
- How to Write a Grant Proposal
- How to Write Effective Policies and Procedures
...and so many more!