Learning in Difficult Times: 10 MOOC for Library Staff Members

As of yesterday, all librarians across New Zealand are staying at home. It’s an unusual and unprecedented situation. I’m sure that a lot of librarians can keep working from home and have some projects for their libraries to develop.

But I also think that there are plenty of librarians whose primary role is customer service and they might not have too many projects that they could work on while spending the following weeks in self-isolation. For them but also for many others including me it’s a great time to work on our self-development.

Developing new skills is something we know that we should be doing. However, in our busy day-to-day library duties there is often not enough time to do so.

I’m bringing you a few tips on MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), with regard to which content could be useful in your library job. You might find that some of the courses below are not suited for your particular library role, but I don’t intend to provide an exhaustive list of the massive online open courses suitable for a librarian. I’d like you to get inspired to use the following weeks in a productive and positive way.

10 Online MOOC for Librarians

1. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

In this course you’ll learn how to learn. Learning and memory techniques, dealing with procrastination and many more. The course provides a good foundation for your future studies.

2. How To Create a Website in a Weekend! (Project-Centered Course)

Each library would benefit from having its own website or a blog. In this course you’ll learn how to do that in a way that is best suited for your needs. Not many MOOC are project-centered so take this opportunity while you can!

3. Copyright for Educators & Librarians

The course is focused on the problem of copyright in U.S. libraries. Even though it’s about U.S. copyright, it’s highly valuable as many sites like Wikipedia follows U.S. copyright law.

4. Search Education Online

This is an education course provided by Google. You can learn how to improve your Google search skills and how to become a more effective and faster fact finder. What else could be more essential in the Time of Google?

5. Excel Skills for Business Specialization

There is barely a more versatile and valuable skill than mastering Excel. Once you become an expert in Excel, you’ll be a valuable workmate in any office. The course is focused on its business use but what’s useful for business can surely be used in the library environment too.

6. Strategic Planning for Public Libraries

This is quite an essential MOOC for a variety of libraries. Explore methods of effective planning and its delivery. The course is provided by The University of Michigan.

7. Public Library Marketing and Public Relations

Learn how to develop effective marketing and PR strategies to help share your library’s programs, services, and value with the broader community.

8. Identifying Community Needs for Public Library Management

The course provides an overview on how to design research, surveys, and interviews. You can also learn how to analyse data to better assess the local wants and needs of a public library community.

9. Become a Data Analyst

This is a slightly more specialized course for librarians who work with data. You’ll learn how to use Python, SQL, and statistics for your data-drive library solutions.

10. Masterpieces of World Literature

This is a course for more “classic” librarians provided by Harvard University. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Goethe.

New Midwifery resources

Have you ever heard of the term “try before you buy”? Well, that is what the library likes to do before investing in new databases for students and staff. We want to make sure that these electronic resources are easy to use and relevant to the people who will be using them most often – you. So if you have a spare few minutes and midwifery and nursing is your thing then please have a play with the two databases below and send any feedback you have to Marion.Hale@ara.ac.nz. The trial for these two databases lasts until the 16th of June, so please have a look before then.


MIDIRS Midwifery Digest

MIDIRS Midwifery Digest is an online and searchable academic journal for maternity health care professionals, students and researchers. It contains academic evidence-based original articles, reprints that discuss topics in detail, and reports and reflections on the important maternity events.

MIDIRS Maternity & Infant Care Database 

Maternity and Infant Care draws together references from journal articles, book chapters, reports, pamphlets, news items, audio visual materials, conference proceedings and other sources relating to midwifery, postnatal care, infant feeding, neonatal care up until two years of age, and the transition to parenthood.

Finding databases and online resources

Just looking to search your favourite database? Looking for an e-book or online journal?

Use the Library Subject Guides

From the Library home-page  click on

 All Databases and online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries are listed under the General heading


The individual Subject Guides also provide access to databases, and resources specific to your subject area and on the left hand side of each page there is also a link back to the list of all Databases.

The Guides are designed to help you quickly and effectively find the information and resources most  relevant to your study. Please let us know what you think, or if you have any suggestions for resources we could include. Leave us a comment, or email library@cpit.ac.nz

CPIT Library post earthquake

Although we are still in the Red Zone cordon the task of cleaning up the library has begun.  The building has come off extremely well. There are books, magazines and other library material on the floor that need to be picked up, sorted and reshelved, but that work will be completed over the next few days.

While our physical library and collections are out of action this is a great opportunity to explore our online collections.

If you need a daily newspaper fix, go to Press Display.  There are far more titles than we could ever make available on our newspaper stand, and you don’t get black fingers.

With our new Primo Library Search you can search across the bulk of our online resources in a single search.  The Books & more tab searches across the library catalogue and research papers from the CPIT Research Repository.  Restrict your search to online only materials (such as ebooks and ejournals) by running a search in the Books & more tab and clicking on “Full Text Online” which appears below Show Only to the left of your search results.

The Journal Articles tab searches only online resources.  You need to Sign In (using your CPIT network username and password) before you can access this content.  Once you have signed in you can save any items that you find to your eshelf.  This saves the need to print articles and is useful when you are ready write your references or bibliography.  You can also add notes to each item on your eshelf reminding yourself of important page numbers or other referencing information.

You can still access any of your favourite online resources from the the library’s Online Resources & Database page.

If you need any assistance then please contact us on library@cpit.ac.nz .